Prime MinisterNarendra Modi on Saturday invoked Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s “dream” of “democracy, humanity and Kashmiriyat” and asked the youth in Kashmir to turn over a new leaf. “…whatever has happened in the past has happened.
Now is the time to take decisions for the new generation,” he said, while stressing on “development mantra” and the need to get rid of corruption during his first election rally in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Democracy, humanity and Kashmiriyat, these words of Atal ji have made special place in the hearts of Kashmiris and have ignited a hope in every Kashmiri youth about better future “I want to urge people to install with full majority a BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir and trust my words that the dream, which Atal ji had seen for J&K, Modi will use all his might to fulfil it,” he said.
He warned against attempts to link religion to politics, and asserted that the BJP government at the Centre was committed to development of the state.
“Our mantra is only development, development and development,” he said, adding “I will return your trust in me with interest byensuring full fledged development in J&K.”
“What are the feelings of our youth in Kashmir. What does he want? Will somebody listen to him. Iunderstand this state. I understand their heart beat. I understand their wishes and aspirations and for that whatever has happened in the past has happened”.
“We will not allow them to get misled or destroyed and shall not allow this country to be destroyed. The path of self destruction of the youth of Jammu and Kashmir is not acceptable to us. That is why, I have come here to make a request to you. Do not connect politics with religion”, he said, reaching out to voters in Kashmir.
Modi said, “A Kashmiri is a Kashmiri. He goes to a mosque, a temple and gurdwara. That is his own matter of faith. For me he is a Kashmiri and for us the task is to change his destiny and change the destiny of Kashmir and this is our dream”.
“BJP does not believe in discrimination but in the mantra of ‘sab ka saath sab ka vikas’. Even in America they have tried it. We need everybody’s support for development,” he said.
BJP, for which abrogation of Article 370 has been one of the core issues, has soft-pedalled it in the current elections.
Modi also launched a scathing attack on National Conference and PDP, alleging that their two “ruling” families have “looted” Jammu and Kashmir and asked the voters to “punish” them.
“Will only two families rule in J&K, can’t other families produce leaders? You are repenting for the last 50 years…. If you don’t punish the two families ruling here, they (the families) will come back resurgent,” he said, without directly naming Abdullahs and Muftis.
If Kutch can be developed, Kashmir can be developed too: Modi
Citing rapid progress in Gujarat’s Muslim-majority Kutch region during his tenure as chief minister, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday promised to usher in similar development in the Kashmir Valley.
Modi also promised to make the state the hub of tourism and bring back the film industry which earlier “used to shoot so many films here”.
“If Kutch can be developed, Kashmir can be developed too,” Modi said addressing a well-attended rally in Kishtwar of Jammu and Kashmir.
“The way I come repeatedly to Kashmir, I used to visit Kutch as Chief Minister of Gujarat. Kutch is an area where majority population are Muslims… There were no avenues for employment and livelihood… During the past 10 years, Kutch has become India’s fastest developed district,” he said.
“Within 15-km range of Kutch, 8,000 mega watt electricity is being produced. There are cloth manufacturing units and other industries that provide jobs to over 3,000 people. Earlier, there was no water and people were moving out in search of employment”.
“It is not being done here in Jammu and Kashmir,” Modi told the audience, majority of whom had come from far-flung areas of Kishtwar, Paddar, Doda, Bhaderwah, Chatroo, Banihal and Palmar in the mountainous Chenab Valley.
“With that experience, I want to tell the people of Jammu and Kashmir that if there can be development in Kutch there is also possibility of development in Kashmir… How long we will wait and watch to see our young generation getting destroyed and running from pillar to post for employment. There is a strong need for Kashmiri youths to get employments. People here are honest and lovable,” he said.
Taking a swipe at Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and NC supremo Farooq Abdullah, Modi told the rally “Do you know the size of the pipe that supplies water to the Kutch area from Narmada river? The size of pipe is such that the full Abdullah full family can sit in a car and drive through it.”
Thanking the people for turning up in large numbers, Modi said, “Can anybody imagine in this cold climate such a big rally can be held… No political outfit has been able to do such a big rally since Independence here. This is due to love of the people. I owe it to you.”
While BJP claimed that over one lakh people have attended the rally, police put the crowd strength at over 60,000 and other agencies over 70,000.