KEVADIYA (GUJ) – Prime Minister Narendar Modi on Thursday said that Kashmir got nothing in last 70 years, except militancy, bloodshed and separatism.
Attending a function on Patel’s 144th birth anniversary, Modi led the gathering in taking the `national unity pledge’ on National Unity Day.
Speaking over Ekta Divas function organised to commemorate 144th birth anniversary of Sradar Valabh Bhayee Patel, on Statue of liberty in Kevadiya Gujrat, Narendara Modi said that Article 370 was the only barrier between Indian nation and J&K state, which was at last done away with by his government.
He said, “Article 370 was a wall between the Union of India and Jammu and Kashmir, which was a confusing factor for even our brothers and sisters, living on the other side of this wall.”
In a swipe at Pakistan, he said those “who cannot win wars” against India are trying to destroy its unity.
Modi further said,”People of Jammu and Kashmir have been suffering from militancy for last thirty years, in which 40,000 people have lost their lives so far.”
Prime Minister said, “While standing in front of Sardar Valabh Bhayee’s statue, I feel happy and honoured to present accounts of my government’s success in revoking Article 370, which had deprived people of equal opportunities that the people of other states of the country enjoyed”.
“It is a matter of great joy for the nation that today when we are celebrating the birthday of Sardar, who was the symbol of Indian integration, Jammu and Kashmir is getting embarking on new a path of bright future and prosperity”, he added.
He further said that 70 years ago Sardar Patel integrated India into a strong union, but unfortunately a shortcoming was left by the inclusion of Article 370 in Indian constitution and seven decades have passed, but no effort was made to do away with, which his government has finally done.
“Jammu and Kashmir acceded to India, but the accession was accompanied with a problem of Article 370 and 35-A, which was pushing the state towards backwardness”, he said.
Terming Article 370 as an instrument to keep people of Jammu and Kashmir alienated from rest of the country Modi said,“ It is for the first time that Block Development Elections were held in J&K and record number of more than 98% panches and sarpanches casted their votes, which in itself is a never before experienced positive development.”
“A new sun of cooperative federalism and development will dawn on the horizon of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh today, where governments will no more be toppled, people will get new hospitals, new railways and equal opportunities of employment”’ he added.
While concluding the mention of Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister said that with state coming under the direct control of Centre today, his August promise of extending benefits of 7th pay commission to J&K employees has also been fulfilled and all government employees of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh will also start getting the benefits of the allowances approved by the Seventh Pay Commission.
Meanwhile Home Minister Amit Shah, while addressing Ekta Divas function in New Delhi said that Article 370 and 35-A of the constitution, were the gateway of terrorism into Jammu and Kashmir and Narendar Modi closed the gate by abrogating these provisions granting special status to Jammu and Kashmir.