J&K presenting new example of democracy, determination: PM Modi
Palli: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said Jammu and Kashmir is presenting a new example of “democracy and determination” as numerous development initiatives were undertaken in the last two to three years.
Visiting Jammu and Kashmir for the first time since the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019, he also said that Rs 38,000 crore of private investment has come to the union territory (UT) in the last two years, besides it witnessing a heavy flow of tourists.
Modi was speaking in Palli village in Samba district, around 17 km from Jammu, on the occasion of National Panchayati Raj Day. The speech was relayed to all gram panchayats across the country.
The prime minister also inaugurated and laid foundation stones for multiple development initiatives worth Rs 20,000 crore for Jammu and Kashmir.
Modi said that his government has implemented as many as 175 central laws and the Panchayati Raj system for the UT’s people who were “deprived” of these benefits when Jammu and Kashmir had special status under Article 370.
“Jammu and Kashmir is presenting a new example of democracy and determination as numerous development initiatives were undertaken in the last two to three years,” he said.
Modi also expressed happiness that it was for the first time that elections for the three-tier Panchayati Raj system were conducted peacefully sometime back in Jammu and Kashmir.
The last two to three years have seen a lot of development initiatives being undertaken in Jammu and Kashmir and about 175 central laws were implemented here that gave due rights to the people of the UT, he said.
“The Panchayati Raj system being a good scheme…it was tom-tommed, people felt proud about it, which was not wrong. But people of Jammu and Kashmir were deprived from the benefits of this system…until our government came to power in Delhi,” Modi said.
The prime minister said he was happy that when democracy has reached the grassroots in Jammu and Kashmir, he was talking to gram panchayats across the country from here.
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has directly provided funds worth Rs 22,000 crore to panchayats of the union territory for “strengthening grassroots democracy” as compared to the Rs 5,000 crore allocation made under this head earlier, he said.
The central government’s policies and schemes are being “implemented rapidly” and this is benefiting the UT’s villages, Modi said and listed schemes like those that provided cooking gas connection, electricity, water and toilets.
The prime minister said that Jammu and Kashmir will write a new chapter of success in the next 25 years which is the ‘Amrit Kaal’ period of Indian independence. The youth of the region will get employment with the rapid pace of development, he said.
He said Jammu and Kashmir’s residents, who were not getting the benefits of reservation till Article 370 was operational, are now getting it.
“We are making attempts that all areas of Jammu and Kashmir remain connected for 12 months of the year…we are also ensuring the same for border villages under the ‘vibrant village scheme’ that was announced in the recent Union Budget,” he said.
Border states and UTs like Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab will benefit from this border villages development scheme, Modi said.
He also urged farmers to move towards natural farming as the current system of using chemical fertilisers was destroying and contaminating the soil and the underground water.
Modi asked citizens to undertake segregation of dry and wet garbage and sought the cooperation of everyone to achieve a “carbon neutral” ecosystem.
The prime minister also talked about the importance of using solar pumps in agriculture, and also discussed about the usage of LED bulbs and solar cookers while interacting with panchayat representatives of Jammu and Kashmir.