Time not far when Assembly elections will be held in J&K, Statehood restored: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public rally in Udhampur on Friday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public rally in Udhampur on Friday.

‘After decades, polls being held without fear of terror, strikes’
New JK will emerge soon, people have moved from disappointment to hope

Terrorists, corrupt cornered in 10 yrs, stone-pelting no more a concern

Sanjeev Pargal
UDHAMPUR, Apr 12: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today declared that the time is not far when the Assembly elections will be held in Jammu and Kashmir, its Statehood restored and the people will take up their issues with the Ministers and legislators.

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The all-important announcement for Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections was made by the Prime Minister at a massive election rally here at Modi Ground in support of BJP candidate for Udhampur-Doda Parliamentary seat and Union Minister of State in the PMO Dr Jitendra Singh. BJP nominee from Jammu-Reasi constituency Jugal Kishore Sharma, party’s UT chief Ravinder Raina and other senior leaders were also present.
“Time is not far when the Assembly elections will be held in J&K and it will get its Statehood back. People will again take up their issues with the Ministers and legislators,” Modi said amidst thundering applause from the huge crowd.
Last Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir were held in 2014. In June 2018, the BJP withdrew support to Mehbooba Mufti-led Government. On August 5, 2019, the BJP Government scrapped Article 370 of the Constitution granting special status and divided State into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.
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All issues of every section of the society in J&K will be resolved, the Prime Minister said.
“The promise of putting an end to the long sufferings of the people of Jammu and Kashmir has been fulfilled,” Modi said and challenged the Congress and other Opposition parties to bring back Article 370 of the Constitution.
The Prime Minister said after decades, this election is taking place without the fear of terrorism, separatism, stone-pelting, strikes and cross-border terrorism, which are no more election issues.
“There used to be a concern regarding the security of Mata Vaishno Devi Ji and Shri Amarnath Ji pilgrimages, but the situation has changed altogether. Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing development and the people’s faith in the Government is getting strengthened,” he said.
Modi hit the campaign trail in Udhampur where Union MoS in PMO Dr Jitendra Singh is seeking third consecutive term having won the seat in 2014 and 2019. His party colleague and BJP candidate from Jammu-Reasi Jugal Kishore Sharma, who is also seeking hat-trick, was also present.
Huge crowd had turned up to listen to Modi from early hours of the morning. As the Prime Minister started his speech at 11 AM, many people listened to him from outside the Stadium. This was Modi’s first election rally in Jammu and Kashmir though he addressed two functions in connection with ‘Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra’ at MA Stadium in Jammu on February 20 and Bakshi Stadium at Srinagar on March 7.
Modi kept the tradition of starting his speech in Dogri while addressing the rallies in Jammu.
“Saare Duggar Desh Day Loken Ghi Mera Namaskaar (my greetings to all Dogra people),” he said and then shouted Zor Se Bolo (Speak Loudly) and the crowd responded with Jai Shri Ram and Jai Mata Di.
“I have been coming to Jammu and Kashmir for the last five decades. I remember the Ekta Yatra in 1992 to unfurl the tricolour at the Lal Chowk (in Srinagar). We received a grand welcome. In 2014, after offering prayers at the Vaishno Devi temple, I addressed a gathering at this very venue and gave a guarantee of freeing the people who have suffered for generations (due to terrorism),” he said.
With people’s blessings, the guarantee has been fulfilled, he added.
Asserting that J&K has completely changed, he said the biggest thing is that there has been a change of heart as people have moved from disappointment to hope. He added that the development projects undertaken by the Centre in J&K are just a “trailer” saying he has to work for the creation of a fabulous picture of a new Jammu and Kashmir in the days to come.
He revealed his vision of carving out a vibrant picture of a new Jammu and Kashmir and said people are saying a lot has been done in the region.
“You have seen the worst, so this looks like a lot to you. You feel good to see development. But Modi thinks bigger. Modi has a great vision. Whatever has happened till now is just a trailer,” the Prime Minister said, adding 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.
Maintaining that new phase is becoming the destiny of Jammu and Kashmir, Modi said it has to become a Start-up hub.
“This dream has been seen by several generations. I give you the guarantee that your dream is my resolution. Every moment of fulfilling your dream is dedicated to you. These efforts will be in the name of India. It will change the destiny of Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.
He said in the last 10 years, the Government has cracked down on terrorism and corruption in the region. “In the next five years, we will take this region to new heights of development and progress. This is the guarantee of Modi”.
“The mothers of our soldiers are no more concerned about stone-pelting. The mothers in the Valley are showering me with blessings because they are no more concerned that their sons would fall in wrong hands. They are sleeping with ease. Bridges are not burnt anymore while new AIIMS, IITs and IIMs are coming up along with modern tunnels, wide roads and railway travel, which are becoming the destiny of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
The Prime Minister said he had come to pay obeisance to Vaishno Devi and also have a “darshan” of the people of the region. “Those living with the Mata’s blessings are revered for me,” he added.
Modi challenged the Congress and other opposition parties to get back Article 370 saying “they cannot do it.”
“Families with a dynastic set-up have harmed Jammu and Kashmir more than anyone else. These parties are of the family, by the family and for the family and they are the ones who created the wall of Article 370. They created an illusion that only Article 370 can safeguard the lives of the people here. With your blessings, Modi has not only demolished this wall but even buried its debris. I challenge the opposition parties, especially the Congress, to announce that they will get Article 370 back. The country will not even look at their faces,” he said.
Recalling some political parties thought that revoking Article 370 will engulf the region in a fire and Jammu and Kashmir will get separated from the country, the Prime Minister said the youngsters of the region showed them the mirror. He added that the revocation of Article 370 ensured justice for various sections of the society, who got their Constitutional rights for the first time after independence.
“When the people came to know about their reality and rejected them, these parties started spreading this impression in the rest of the country. Ask my sisters and daughters in Jammu and Kashmir who was craving for their rights? They know that their brother and their son gave them their rights,” he said.
Modi said tourists and pilgrims are coming in large numbers to both regions of Jammu and Kashmir, which was a dream of the people here. The biggest achievement, he added, is the change of heart and the people moving from despair to hope.
“Your dream is Modi’s resolve. Modi has dedicated every minute of his life to you and the country and is working 24×7 to fulfil the guarantee of ‘Viksit Bharat’ by 2047. Please trust me, I will get rid of the problems plaguing Jammu and Kashmir for the last 60 years,” he said.
In a scathing attack on the INDIA opposition bloc for claiming that the Ram temple in Ayodhya is a “poll plank” for the BJP, Modi said it is a matter of faith for the people of the country.
He compared the mindset of the Congress and its allies with that of the Mughals, who he said used to derive pleasure from vandalising temples, and accused them of teasing the majority community by displaying videos of consuming meat during the month of Sawan to consolidate their vote banks.
“You must have seen how the Congress hates the Ram temple. The Congress and its entire ecosystem start screaming if there is even a reference to the temple. They say the Ram temple is an election issue for the BJP. It was never an election issue and will never be an election issue,” Modi said.
Modi pointed out that the Ram temple movement started when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was not even born. “It was an issue at a time when the British were yet to come. It is a 500-year-old matter when there was no thought of elections,” he said.
Taking a dig at the Congress for declining the invitation to the consecration ceremony of the temple, Modi said, “What kind of an election game was it that you declined the invite to this holy function? It is an election issue for the Congress and the INDIA bloc, whereas it is a matter of devotion and faith for the country’s people,” he added.
The temple was a victory of tolerance, he added.
“It was a victory after a long wait of 500 years. When foreign invaders vandalised temples, the people of India fought to protect their religious places. They faced the worst situations for protecting their faith,” he said.
Taking a dig at the leaders of the Congress and its allies, who he said were living in huge bungalows when Ram Lalla was living in a tent, Modi said people used to run from pillar to post to get the tent changed during rains, only to be threatened with court cases.
“This was an assault on the faith of crores of people who considered Ram as the prime deity for worship. We had told these people that one day, Ram will return to his temple. Do not forget three things — one, this is a reality now after 500 years of fighting. Do you agree? Secondly, it has been done through a full process of the judiciary. It has been vetted by a court judgment and its justice delivery system. Thirdly, the people of India have contributed every penny for the construction of the temple, not the government,” he said.
Modi said the trustees of the temple, after forgiving the opposition leaders for the sins committed by them against those batting for the shrine, invited them by going to their houses, but “they declined the invitation”.
“I want to ask the Congress that when you were speaking against it day in and day out, as part of which election issue were you doing so? Every devotee of Lord Ram has seen your arrogance when you ignored the biggest event to which crores of people were attached,” the Prime Minister said.
He claimed that declining the invitation was the election game plan of these parties. “What type of compulsion was this that you said Ram was imaginary? Which vote bank were you catering to? The Congress and the INDIA bloc do not care about the majority of the country’s people. They feel happy to insult their feelings,” Modi said.
Referring to some leaders consuming meat in the month of Sawan and making its video viral, Modi said, “In the month of Sawan, they went to the house of a person who was handed a punishment by a court and is on bail and cherished the taste of mutton. They made a video of it to tease the people of the country.”
“During the month of Sawan, a person who was convicted, who is on bail, someone went to this kind of a criminal…. During Sawan, they enjoyed eating mutton. Not just this, they made a video and worked to tease the people of India,” he said, referring to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s visit to RJD supremo Lalu Prasad’s house.
Modi said neither any law nor him prevents anyone from eating anything.
“Everyone is free to eat vegetarian or non-vegetarian food. But they had different intentions. The Mughals used to get satisfaction by vandalising temples, not by defeating kings. They used to derive pleasure out of it.
“Likewise, they tease the people of the country by releasing such videos in the month of Sawan and consolidate their vote banks,” Modi said.
He said during Navratri, eating non-vegetarian food and highlighting it hurt the feelings of people. “These people will resort to abusing me and targeting me for saying this. But when it is beyond the point of tolerance, it is my duty in a democracy to tell the right things to people. That is my job. I am fulfilling my duty,” he said.
Modi accused these leaders of deliberately indulging in such acts “so that a big section of people gets annoyed”.
“They have a Mughal mindset. They do not know that when the public gives a fitting reply, the princes of big dynasties get sidelined. Dynastic parties and corruption-ridden people should not be given opportunities,” he said.