Preparations for J&K Assembly polls started, statehood soon: PM Modi



Srinagar: Promising statehood to Jammu and Kashmir soon, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday said preparations for Assembly polls had already started.

Addressing the ‘Empowering Youth, Transforming J&K’ event at Sher-e-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) in Srinagar, PM Modi said, “What can be better than the people of J&K selecting their representative and tackling their problems through them? That is why preparations for the assembly elections have started. The day is not far when you will select the new government of J&K with your vote. The day will come soon when J&K will shape its future as a state once again.”

He inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for multiple development projects in J&K worth more than Rs 1500 crore encompassing the sectors of road, water supply, and infrastructure in higher education.

The PM also launched the J&K Competitiveness Improvement in Agriculture and Allied Sectors Project (JKCIP) worth Rs 1800 crore.

He also initiated handing out employment letters to 200 fresh government recruits.

On the occasion, PM Modi took a walkthrough of the exhibition and interacted with young achievers of J&K.

Addressing the gathering, he expressed excitement about his visit to J&K and mentioned two specific reasons for it.

“Firstly, today’s event is related to the inauguration and foundation stone laying of developmental projects in J&K and secondly, this is the first meeting with the people of J&K after the Lok Sabha elections,” the PM said.

Recalling his recent visit to Italy for the G7 Summit, he highlighted the impact of continuity of the government for three terms as it had changed the outlook of the world towards India.

PM Modi also said that the all-time high aspirations of Indians were the nation’s biggest strength.

He said that this high aspiration leads to high expectations from the government and in this backdrop, the third continuous term of the government was special as the only parameter of an aspirational society was performance.

“People have faith in the intentions and policies of the government,” the PM said.

He said that the big message of people’s mandate in this Lok Sabha polls was that of stability.

PM Modi recalled the long phase of unstable governments in the last decade of the last century when the country witnessed five elections in 10 years resulting in development coming to a standstill.

“Leaving that phase behind, India has now entered a new phase of stable government leading to strengthening of democracy,” he said.

The PM also noted the role of the people of J&K in this strengthening of democracy.

“We are witnessing Atal Ji’s vision of Insaniyat, Jamhooriyat, aur Kashmiriyat, turning into a reality today,” he said.

Mentioning record voter turnout in the recent elections, PM Modi praised the trust of the people of J&K in democracy.

“I have come to express my thanks for your efforts for keeping the flag of democracy high,” he said. “The transformation in J&K is a result of the work done by the government in the last 10 years.”

Pointing out that the women and people from lower income backgrounds in the region were deprived of their rights, the PM said that the present government worked towards bringing opportunities and restoring their rights by adopting the mantra of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’.

He said that the refugees migrating from Pakistan, people from the Valmiki community, and families of Safai Karamcharis got their voting rights for the first time.

PM Modi also mentioned fulfilling the long-pending wish of the Valmiki community to be included in the Schedule Caste (SC) category, reservation of seats in the Legislative Assembly for the SC community, and inclusion of the Paddari tribe, Pahariya caste, Gadda Brahman, and Koli community in the SC category. He also underlined that OBC reservations had been made applicable in the Panchayat, Nagar Palika, and Nagar Nigam elections.

Throwing light on the power of the constitution of India and its significance in letter and spirit, the PM underlined that it enshrines the rights of the 140 crore citizens of India and provides opportunities to become a partner in nation-building.

The PM also lamented the non-acceptance of the constitution of India and the neglect shown towards J&K since independence.

“I am delighted that today, we are living the constitution of India. Through the constitution, we are finding new ways to change the face of Kashmir for good,” he said. “The constitution of India has finally been adopted by J&K in the true sense and the walls of Article 370 have been brought down.”

Referring to the developments that have taken place in Kashmir in the last 10 years, PM Modi said that the world was witness to the recent changes in Kashmir.

“It continues to praise the people of Kashmir for their hospitality during the G20 Summit,” he said. “The organisation of a global event like the G20 Summit in Kashmir has made the people of Kashmir proud.”

The PM said that seeing children continue to play at Lal Chowk till late in the evening fills every Indian’s heart with joy.

“Similarly, the bustling markets of Kashmir light up everyone’s face,” he said.

Recalling the sports car show held near Dal Lake in March this year, PM Modi said the entire world watched that programme, which stands as a testimony to the progress in Kashmir.

He mentioned how tourism in Kashmir had become the talk of the town, adding that the International Yoga Day programme on Friday would attract even more tourists here.

Quoting Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, the PM said that the figure of over 2 crore tourists visiting Kashmir was record-breaking and contributes significantly to the local economy.

“I am devoted myself with full dedication and honesty to ensure that a way out of the past generation’s miseries may be found. We are making all possible effort to remove all distances whether of Dil (heart) or Dilli (Delhi),” he said.

PM Modi emphasised the need for collective efforts to ensure that the fruits of democracy reach every family and person.

He said that every paisa of central assistance was spent on the welfare of the people of J&K.

Referring to the projects for which foundation stones were laid or inauguration was done, the PM mentioned major developmental projects worth more than Rs 1500 crore and Agriculture and Allied Sectors (JKCIP) projects worth Rs 1800 crore.

He praised the J&K administration for fast recruitments in government jobs and said that in the last 5 years, about 40,000 recruitments were done.

PM Modi also noted the positive impact of investments in J&K.

Hailing the progress in Kashmir, he said that today Kashmir was witnessing major development works on almost every front, including rail connectivity, education, health infrastructure, electricity, and water.

The PM highlighted that thousands of kilometres of roads had been built under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojna.

He said that besides new highways and expressways, Kashmir was also going to be connected with railways.

“The alluring view of the Chenab railway bridge fills everyone with pride,” PM Modi said.

He said that the Gurez Valley in north Kashmir had gained access to grid connectivity for the first time.

The PM reiterated that today, Kashmir was brimming with opportunities in every field, from agriculture to horticulture to sports and start-ups.

Hailing the development that had taken place in Kashmir in the last 10 years, he said that Kashmir was gradually emerging as a major hub of start-ups, skill development, and sports.

PM Modi pointed out that almost 70 percent of Kashmir’s agricultural sectors comprise start-ups.

He said that over 50 degree colleges had been set up in Kashmir in the past few years.

“Seats in polytechnics have increased as have the opportunities to learn new skills. IIT, IIM, and AIIMS are being built along with many new medical colleges,” the PM said.

He said skills were also being developed at the local level in the tourism and hospitality sector.

PM Modi also suggested introducing online courses for tourist guides and establishing youth tourism clubs in schools, colleges, and universities.

“All these works are happening in Kashmir today,” he said.

The PM highlighted the positive impact of the development work on the women of J&K and mentioned tourism and IT training to the women of local Self Help Groups.

Speaking about the initiation of the Krishi Sakhi programme two days ago, he said more than 1200 women from J&K were working as Krishi Sakhis.

PM Modi also touched upon the Namo Drone Didi programme and said that the daughters of J&K were being trained under the scheme.

“The government is making these efforts to improve the income of women and provide livelihood opportunities,” he said.

“India is moving towards becoming a major world power in tourism and sports,” the PM said, noting J&K’s potential in these two sectors.

He highlighted the development of excellent sports infrastructure in every district of J&K and said that around 100 Khelo India centres were being built.

PM Modi said that around 4500 youth of J&K were being trained for national and international competitions.

Touching upon winter sports, he said that J&K was becoming the winter sports capital of India.

The PM also spoke about the fourth edition of the Khelo India Winter Games in February this year which witnessed the participation of over 800 sports persons from all over the country.

“Such events will create new possibilities for international sports events here in the future,” he said.

PM Modi warned the people of J&K about the enemies of peace and humanity who stand against the development.

“This is their last ditch effort to stop the development of J&K to ensure that peace isn’t established here,” he said.

The PM stressed that the government had taken serious note of the recent terror incidents where the Union Home Minister reviewed all arrangements in collaboration with the J&K administration.

“I assure you that no stone will be left unturned to teach a lesson to the enemies of J&K. The new generation of J&K will live in permanent peace. We will strengthen the path of progress chosen by J&K,” he said.

PM Modi concluded his address by congratulating the people of J&K for today’s development projects.

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and Union Minister of State for Ayush (Independent Charge) Prataprao Jadhav were also present on the occasion.

The event ‘Empowering Youth, Transforming J&K’ is pivotal for the region, which showcases progress and inspires young achievers.

The PM laid the foundation stone and inaugurated 84 major developmental projects valued at more than Rs 1500 crore.

The inaugurations include projects related to road infrastructure, water supply schemes, and infrastructure in higher education.

Additionally, PM Modi laid the foundation stone for projects like the improvement of the Chenani-Patnitop-Nashri section, the development of Industrial Estates, and the construction of six Government Degree Colleges (GDCs).

The PM launched the J&K Competitiveness Improvement in Agriculture and Allied Sectors (JKCIP) project worth Rs 1800 crore.

The project would be implemented in 90 blocks across 20 districts of J&K, and have the project outreach of 300,000 households covering 15 lakh beneficiaries.

The foundation stone laying and inauguration and launch of these projects will empower the youth and upgrade the infrastructure in J&K.

PM Modi also distributed appointment letters to more than 2000 persons appointed in government service.


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