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Identity of Kashmir buried with exodus of Pandits in 1990: Modi

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Says statements made by former chief ministers on abrogation of Article 370 not acceptable

New Delhi, Feb 06: Describing Jammu and Kashmir as the crown jewel of India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the identity of Kashmir was buried when the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits began in 1990.

He also said no one can side with the statements of three detained chief ministers of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir who had said that abrogation of provisions of Article 370 will separate Kashmir from India.

“Who made Kashmir only about land grabbing? Who made Kashmir’s identity only about bombs and guns? Can anyone forget that dark night of January? In reality, Kashmiri identity is closely linked with harmony,” he said replying to a debate on Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address in Lok Sabha.

Modi said Kashmir’s identity was buried on January 19, 1990 when Kashmiri Pandits started leaving the Valley due to militancy.

The prime minister said statements made by former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti, Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah on the abrogation of provisions of Article 370 are not acceptable.

“Many said that Kashmir will be on fire if Article 370 is removed. Many are questioning us for detaining some political leaders. On August 05, Mehbooba Mufti said that India had betrayed Kashmir and we would have been better with deciding otherwise in 1947. Can we accept such people?

“Omar Abdullah said that removing Article 370 will separate Kashmir from India. Farooq Abdullah said that if Article 370 is removed then no one will unfurl the national flag in Kashmir. How can we side with them,” he asked.

Modi said such statements made by the former chief ministers were unacceptable.

“These are leaders who don’t trust Kashmiri people, that is why they used such language. But we trusted Kashmiris and abrogated Article 370,” he said.

The prime minister said Kashmir is the crown jewel of India and his government has faith in the people of the Valley where development measures are being taken.

“The abrogation of Article 370 has led to the complete integration of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country,” he said.

He said the real identity of Jammu and Kashmir is its egalitarian attitude towards all faiths and its Sufi tradition, and added that the region cannot be left behind.

The prime minister said the restrictions imposed in the Union Territory are being removed and union ministers are going to various of parts of the region, getting direct feedback from the people. The government would definitely act upon the feedback, he said.

Modi said his government is committed to work for the welfare of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and for its all round development.

He said Ladakh would be developed as a carbon neutral Union Territory.

Listing steps taken post Article 370 scrapping in J&K, PM said an anti-corruption bureau has been established in Jammu and Kashmir for the first time after its special status was scrapped.

He said for the first time in decades, people of Jammu and Kashmir got benefits of reservation. There were BDC polls, RERA came into being there, he said, adding for the first time, Jammu and Kashmir got a comprehensive start-up, trade and logistics policy.

For the first time, an anti-corruption bureau was set up in JK, he said.

He attacked the Opposition for not offering any “constructive suggestion” during the debate, saying they made a “virtue out of stagnation”.

Modi said one member said the decision to abrogate the special status for Jammu and Kashmir in August last year was taken without discussion. “This observation is not correct. The entire nation has seen the detailed discussions on the subject. MPs have voted in favour of the decisions.”

“People do not forget things easily. I want to remind the Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha about the manner in which proceedings regarding the creation of Telangana took place” when the house was locked and televised address stopped when the bill to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh was passed, he said.

The prime minister said there is “unprecedented peace in Northeast”, countering the Opposition charge of unrest in the region following an amendment to the citizenship law.

PM’s address oscillated between ‘stand-up comedy’ and ‘rank communalism’: Cong

New Delhi, Feb 06: The Congress on Thursday described Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address in Parliament as one that oscillated between “stand-up comedy” and “rank communalism”, and said he should apologise for “misleading” the country by quoting Jawaharlal Nehru “out of context”.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said it was unfortunate that the prime minister made a reference to Pakistan seven times during his address and accused him of hyphenating India with Pakistan during the last five years.

Tiwari was referring to Modi’s reply to the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address

He also accused Modi of destroying the Indian economy and said the prime minister is covering this up by dividing society through polarisation.

“It is extremely unfortunate and deeply regrettable that the prime minister’s comments oscillated between stand-up comedy, half truths and rank communalism. It is regrettable that the Prime Minister of India should quote one of his illustrious predecessors Jawaharlal Nehru completely out of context,” he said.

“The prime minister should apologise to the country for quoting an agreement signed with another country completely out of context. The prime minister deliberately chose to mislead the House,” he said.

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