Addressing the nation after the government in a historic move decided to revoke Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir that grants them special status, Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured the people that bright days are ahead for them.
P M Modi said articles 370 and 35A were being used by Pakistan as a weapon against India to invoke anti-national sentiments among people and this had led to the loss of 42,000 lives in the region over the last three decades. By shedding the archaic laws, he said, the Union Territories had moved towards financial progress and a safer future.
“It is surprising that whoever you spoke to couldn’t tell you the benefits of Article 370. The articles 370 and 35A had given Jammu and Kashmir separatism, terrorism, nepotism and nothing else,” Modi said.
Promising an employment boom in the region, Modi said all vacancies in government departments will be filled up very soon, Army and paramilitary services will run recruitment camps, and private institutions will be encouraged to conduct recruitment drives in the region. The negative effects of the huge fiscal deficit of the state will also be minimised, he said.
He urged the film industry to once again look towards Kashmir as shooting destination. He recalled how earlier films in Kashmir were shot in beautiful locales . This would generate employment in the long run.
“The dream that Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Baba Saheb Ambedkar, Syama Prasad Mookerjee, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and crores of patriots had seen is now a reality,” Modi said in his opening remarks.
He said that government employees, including those working in the police force, would be extended all benefits, including salary perks like house rent allowance and health cover that public servants in other Union Territories already receive.
Modi also addressed the issue of impending elections, saying that Jammu and Kashmir was now primed to undo decades of neglect brought by family-oriented politics and nepotism. It was time for a youth-driven young leadership to take charge of the state politics, he said, adding, “I urge our daughters and sisters to come forward and take the reins of the state leadership.”
Modi dispelled doubts about the role of the legislative Assembly in the region.
“I want to clarify that your representative will be chosen only by you, the same way you have chosen your MLAs, MPs, cabinets, and chief ministers. We all will together combat and rid this region of terrorism and separatism. We all want fresh elections to take place, a new set of ministers, and chief minister. I assure you that you will get an opportunity to elect your representatives very soon with full transparency in the same manner that you have chosen your panchayat representatives,” he said.