New Delhi, Aug 8 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday assured the people of Jammu and Kashmir that early elections to the state assembly would be held in a transparent manner.
'As a nation and as a family, we, you and the entire country have taken a historic decision. A system, due to which our siblings of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh were deprived of many rights and which was a major hindrance in their development has been removed,' Mr Modi said in a 40-minute address to the nation after abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of J&K.
He promised,' Assembly polls in the state will soon be held in the same transparent manner as Panchayat polls.'
The decision, Mr Modi asserted, taken by the National Democratic Alliance dispensation was historic as Article 370 and Article 35 (A), which were in effect obstacles to development for J&K, had been abrogated.
He said key laws seeking to bring in revolutionary changes in society were never implemented in Jammu and Kashmir. The PM said that there were obstacles to the development of the people of Kashmir all these years 'Our efforts have removed those hindrances," the Premier affirmed. In this context, he said that while in other states laws were in force to protect the interest of minorities, it was not so in J&K.
'The Minimum Wages Act is in force across the nation but existed only on paper in Jammu and Kashmir. Laws framed by Parliament benefit the entire nation but were not available to the people of J&K,' the PM affirmed.
Articles 370 and 35 (A) were in effect obstacles to the development for the state and years of dynastic rule in J&K prevented the local youths from leadership role, the Prime Minister said.Defending the government decision, Mr Modi said as many as 42,000 people lost lives in last three decades due to fires of terrorism and separatism fueled by Pakistan.
'A new era has started for Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. I congratulate the people of J and Kashmir and Ladakh and the whole nation. When some things are there forever we presume they will never change or go away. Article 370 was something similar,'he added. Mr Modi said that the present and future of people of J&K and Ladakh will not be safe but also secure.
The PM assured that his government will soon take steps to organise job camps for youths of the state in the armed forces and central police forces.He said that during the President's rule, transparency had been brought in the administration of J and K.'We have tried to bring a new work culture, transparency in the J&K administration. The result of this is that IIT, IIM, AIIMS, be it all irrigation projects, power projects, or the anti-corruption bureau, their work has accelerated,’’the PM said.
He said J&K will be granted statehood after normalcy is restored while Ladakh which has been granted Union Territory status will continue in that status.