In his first visit to Jammu and Kashmir after last year’s assembly polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Rs 80,000 crore financial package for the state. Addressing a rally in Srinagar, PM Modi invoked former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s mantra for development, saying his government at the Centre is committed to transform Jammu and Kashmir into a new, modern, progressive and prosperous state.
“I don’t need advice or analysis from anyone in this world on Kashmir. The three mantras of Atalji and these will be helpful in moving forward. Kashmiriyat ke bina Hindustan adhura hai. (Without Kashmiriyat, India is incomplete),” he said.
“Sufi tradition has emerged from this land and this tradition has taught us oneness and strength of unity,” the PM added.
In his second public rally in Kashmir after becoming the Prime Minister, he made an announcement of whopping Rs 80 thousand crore package saying, “our hearts are also open for you”.
“The Centre announces Rs 80,000 crore package to the state. It’s my heart-felt desire that this money will be helpful in turning your fate. This money should be used for converting the state into a new Jammu and Kashmir which is modern, prosperous and progressive state,” PM Modi said adding “This is not a full stop. This Rs 80,000 crore is not a full stop. It’s rather a beginning.”
Flanked by Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and MoS PMO Jitendra Singh and PDP President Mehbooba Mufti, the Prime Minister strongly emphasised that the youth of Jammu and Kashmir needed employment and assured the PDP-BJP state government that the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre was “standing like a rock” behind them.
“The dreams of two generations have been lost in last two decades. But I am an optimist and would like to move ahead and convert Jammu and Kashmir into a modern and developed state,” he added in his speech at Sher-e-Kashmir cricket stadium.
Speaking further, PM Modi said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have shown their faith in democracy (Jamhooriya) and the state government is now stepping in a direction to empower the most micro level of democratic exercise.
“There was massive participation in Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. Today Mufti Sahib is talking about empowering panchayats. This is the democracy that Atalji wanted and dreamt of. I salute you,” said the Prime Minister adding India is incomplete without Kashmiriyat which is the “shaan, baan, aan” (pride and glory) of India.
Laying emphasis on strengthening the use of information and digital technology for improving day to day life of the people, the PM added “We have to explore how to use the I-way, the information way, and digital network to connect the people of Kashmir.”
Among one of his major emphasis, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that both the governments at the state and at the Centre want to develop the infrastructure sector.
“Today it takes nine to 11 hours to travel from Jammu to Srinagar, which can put off the tourists. We are spending Rs 34,000 crore on Jammu-Srinagar road which will reduce the travel time significantly as the distance will be less by 70 kilometres due to construction of tunnels,” PM Modi said.
The Prime Minister also told the gathering that focus of the government is on reviving tourism, promoting handicrafts and other cash crops like apple and saffron of the state.
(With inputs from the PTI)