J&K statehood will be restored, says PM

The Asian Age.  | Yusuf Jameel

India, All India

Modi criticises Article 370, considering it a part of the state's bitter history, and challenged Opposition parties to reinstate it

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public rally ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha election, in Udhampur district, Friday, April 12, 2024. (PTI Photo)

SRINAGAR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced during an election rally in Udhampur that Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir will be held soon, signalling the eventual restoration of its statehood. He criticised Article 370, considering it a part of the state's bitter history, and challenged Opposition parties, particularly the Congress, to reinstate it.

Using his famous catchphrase 'Modi ki guarantee,' he assured people that he will fulfil their aspirations, saying he has a vision beyond the current changes in J&K.

"Modi also thinks far ahead. So, what has been done in J&K, so far, is just the trailer. Now I have to go down to creating a new and wonderful picture of the new Jammu and Kashmir. The time is not far when Assembly elections will be held in Jammu and Kashmir. It will get the status of statehood. You will be able to share your dreams with your MLA and your ministers," he said.

He pledged to work for the creation of a fabulous picture of Naya (new) Jammu and Kashmir in the days to come". He promised them that all the issues of every section of the society in J&K will be resolved and said that the ongoing road and tunnel construction projects will be completed at a fast pace. "Companies and factories from across the country and outside will come to Jammu and Kashmir. New railway, tunnel and road projects are coming up. A record number of tourists are coming to Jammu and Kashmir," he said, adding that the Union Territory ought to become a start-up hub.

"The political parties here would mean 'of the family, by the family and for the family'. They caused great loss to Jammu and Kashmir. For power, they created the barrier of Article 370 between J&K and the rest of the country, but my government demolished this barrier," he added.

Modi challenged Opposition parties, particularly the Congress, regarding the benefits of Article 370's abrogation. He highlighted the empowerment of marginalized communities and dared any party to advocate for its reinstatement, asserting that the youth of Jammu and Kashmir proved detractors wrong by embracing the change.

Modi criticised the Congress, for accusing the BJP of politicising the Ram temple issue. He said that the Ram Mandir is a matter of faith for the nation, not a political tool.

Modi likened the Congress's stance on the Ram Mandir to the Mughals' attitude towards temples, alleging that they disrespect Hindu sentiments. He highlighted the historical significance of the Ram Mandir movement and condemned the Congress for declining the invitation to its consecration ceremony.

Asserting the victory of tolerance after 500 years, Modi emphasized the people's devotion to Lord Ram and their contribution to the temple's construction. He criticized the opposition for rejecting invitations from temple trustees, despite efforts to reconcile.

The Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency is witnessing a triangular contest, with BJP's Jitendra Singh, Congress's Choudhary Lal Singh, and DPAP's G.M. Saroori competing.

The Prime Minister lambasted the Congress, NC, and PDP, blaming dynastic politics and corruption for J&K's plight. He highlighted the government's efforts to dismantle barriers like Article 370, claiming progress in eradicating terrorism and separatism.

Modi pledged continued development in J&K, promising resolution of societal issues and accelerated completion of infrastructure projects. He envisioned J&K as a hub for startups and tourism, reflecting a transformation from despair to hope among its people.