Jammu and Kashmir will gain political stability and the cycle of governments formed and brought down for invested interests will stop, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, on his-led government’s decision to scrap “special status” offered to the state under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and divide the state into two separate Union Territories that come into power from today.
While addressing a gathering at Kevadiya in Gujarat to mark the 144th birthday of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, PM Modi said that “Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh are taking a step towards a new future today.” Sardar Patel’s birthday is celebrated across the nation as the “National Unity Day” as a tribute to the first Home Minister of India, who has led the task to integrate princely spayed into the Union of India, after independence in 1947.
PM Modi was quoted saying, “Article 370 only gave separatism and terrorism to Jammu and Kashmir. It was the only place in the country where Article 370 was present, were in the last three decades, over 40000 people were killed and several mothers lost their sons due to terrorism. Now, this wall of Article 370 has been demolished.”
The decisions of the government on Jammu and Kashmir were not to draw new territorial lines on the ground, asserted PM Modi that “we wanted to build a strong link of faith, the sort of faith that even Sardar Patel had dreamed of for Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh.”
He further stated, “Inspired by Sardar Patel, we are focusing on the emotional, economic, and constitutional integration of the entire country.”
PM Modi quoted Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel as saying that if the issue of J&K had been under his control, a resolution would not have taken so long, adding that “he had warned that unification is the only way out. I dedicated the Parliament’s decision to Sardar Patel and lay it as his feet.”
While speaking on the Block Development Council Elections in J&K, the Prime Minister has said that Article 370 had been used as an excuse to not hold the elections. “They were recently held for the first time and there was a 98 percent turnout, which reflects unity,” added PM Modi.
He further referred to what he termed as decades of alienation felt by the North-eastern states. PM Modi was quoted saying, “There was a time when the chasm of mistrust between the northeast and the rest of India was deep. There were serious questions about the physical and emotional connectivity. That is now changing,” adding that “the North-East is moving from algaav to lagaav.”
Mocking at neighboring Pakistan, the Indian Prime Minister said that those who “cannot win wars against us” are trying to disturb the unity of India, adding that “unity in diversity is our pride and identity.”