Kevadiya (Gujarat), Sep 17 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday strongly defended his government's decision to abrogate Article 370 and bifurcate the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and maintained that 'discrimination' faced by people in the northern state had led to violence and separatism.
"People in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh region faced discrimination in last 70 years. The result was bad and this had led to violence and separatism. The consequence of this situation was suffered by the entire country....Adhuri Ashaon aur akankshaon ke rup mein purey desh ne bhukta hae," Prime Minister said addressing a rally here on the occasion of his visit to the native state on his 69th birthday.
Paying tributes to the country's first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Prime Minister said "Just imagine, if Sardar Patel did not have the farsighted vision, then what would be the map of India".
He said it was on September 17, 1948 that Hyderabad had formally merged with India. Mr Modi said: "Sardar Patel had seen the vision of One India, Great India (Ek Bharat, Shresht Bharat) and today the country is fulfilling his dream. Some works during Independence struggle remained incomplete, and the country is now trying to achieve those milestones".
The Prime Minister maintained that the new road map taken by his government vis-a-vis Jammu and Kashmir ensuring one nation one norms formula is only "inspired" by Sardar Patel life and works.
"To deal with the challenges of many years, the country has now taken a new roadmap," Mr Modi said. "Mukhe vishwas hae ki Jammu and Kashmir ke Ladakh aur Kargil ke lakhon sathiyon ke sakriye sahyog sey hum vikas aur vishwas ki nahi dhara bahane mein safal hongey (I have the conviction that with the support of lakhs of friends from Jammua and Kashmir and Ladakh and Kargil, we will be able to establish a new journey for development)," the Prime Minister said.(UNI)