Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh — where the Centre scrapped special status under Article 370 of the Constitution — that their dreams of development will be fulfilled, and said growth of the regions will be his foremost priority.
“I want to clearly assure my sisters and brothers of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh that these regions will develop as per the wishes of local people, their dreams and ambitions. The growth of these regions will first and foremost be powered by those belonging to these regions,” Modi said in an interview told on the first 75 days of his government.
With effect from October 31, Jammu and Kashmir will be bifurcated into two Union Territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, as a bill in this regard was passed by Parliament and given Presidential assent.
The government on August 5 repealed provisions under Article 370 which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir and limited Parliament’s power to make laws concerning the state.
This also revoked Article 35A which empowered the state assembly to define ‘permanent residents’ for bestowing special rights and privileges on them, including on land ownership. Under the provision, outsiders were barred from buying land in the state.
Modi also said Article 370 and Article 35(A) harmed India, and a handful of families and separatists capitalised on this. PM Modi said, “It is now clear to everyone how Articles 370 and 35(A) fully isolated Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. The status quo of seven long decades clearly could not fulfil people’s aspirations.
Citizens were kept away from the fruits of development. The greatest casualty was the lack of any proper economic avenues to increase earnings. Our approach is different — instead of the vicious cycle of poverty, the people need more economic opportunities. For years, intimidation ruled the roost. Let us now give development a chance, he added.