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Last Updated : Aug 08, 2019 10:54 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

PM Modi calls revocation of Article 370 'historic', says new era has begun for J&K, Ladakh

The Prime Minister also assured that the people of Jammu and Kashmir will get to elect their government soon.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an address to the nation on August 8, said that the decision to remove Article 370 provisions has "removed all obstacles in the road to development for the people in Ladakh and Jammu Kashmir".

PM Modi was referring to the abrogation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir and the bifurcation of the state into Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.

"The entire country has taken a historic decision. The dream that Sardar Patel saw, Babasaheb Ambedkar saw, Syama Prasad Mookerjee saw and Atalji saw, that dream has been fulfilled," PM Modi said in his address.

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In his televised address to the nation, Modi said a new era has begun in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.

Elections in J&K soon

The Prime Minister also assured that the people of J&K will get to "elect their government soon".

"We all want the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections to be held in the coming year – a new government, a Chief Minister. I assure the people of Jammu and Kashmir that you will have the opportunity to choose your representatives in a completely transparent environment with a lot of honesty," Modi said.

"After the abrogation of Article 370, the laws which are made for the betterment of the country, will be applicable to Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as well," Modi reiterated.

Boost tourism and invite film industry

PM Modi also said that J&K has the potential to become the world's largest tourist destination.

"When the 'heaven on earth' will attract [investments from] the entire world, ease of living will increase for its citizens," Modi said.

The Prime Minister also invited the "Hindi, Telugu and Tamil film industries" for filming in J&K.

"There was a time when every Bollywood movie used to be shot in Kashmir. I am sure when the situation is normal, the entire world will come to shoot films there," Modi said.

Eid celebrations

Reassuring Kashmiris living outside J&K, PM Modi said, "The government is taking care that the people should not face any problem in celebrating Eid in J&K."

He said that provisions are being made for the safe return of Kashmiris to J&K ahead of the festival.

Pakistan and terrorism

Asserting that no one has been able to justify how the Article 370 was benefitting people of the state, the Prime Minister said these provisions did not give anything except separatism, corruption, terrorism and family rule.

Attacking Pakistan, which has termed India's move as "unilateral and illegal" and protested by downgrading diplomatic ties, Modi said Pakistan used Article 370 as a "tool to spread terrorism".

"In the last three decades, over 42,000 people lost their lives," he said, adding, "we will rid J&K of terrorism and separatism under new measures."

Central legislation extended to J&K 

He also said over 1.5 crore people of J&K were being denied benefits of legislations meant for the entire country.

Spelling out his government's development plans for J&K, he said state government employees including police will soon get benefits on par with employees of other Union Territories.

All vacant posts in Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh will be filled, creating employment opportunities, the prime minister added.

Parliament had, on August 6, approved a resolution abrogating special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. It also cleared a bill to split the state into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir (with legislature) and Ladakh.

The government had received support from a number of major Opposition parties during the debate on the J&K Reorganisation Bill in Rajya Sabha, where the BJP does not even command a majority.

Ahead of the move, more than 7 million people in the Valley were put under a complete lockdown after the government shut off most communication with it, including internet, cellphone and landline networks. Thousands of additional troops were deployed to the region out of fear the government's steps could spark unrest.

Soon after Parliament's approval, PM Modi had tweeted:

"I salute my sisters and brothers of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh for their courage and resilience. For years, vested interest groups who believed in emotional blackmail never cared for people’s empowerment. J&K is now free from their shackles. A new dawn, better tomorrow awaits!" PM Modi had said in another tweet.

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First Published on Aug 8, 2019 08:49 pm
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