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JAMMU: Union Home Minister Amit Shah Sunday said the “discriminatory” Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, was scrapped because of personal efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fulfil the dream of Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee.In his first public rally in J&K after the August 2019 revocation of its special status, Shah said Modi restored the grassroots democracy and started a new phase of development in J&K where lakhs of people faced injustice under the garb of Article 370.
Jammu: Union Home Minister Amit Shah visited the International Border (IB) in Jammu on Sunday evening and lauded the bravery of soldiers guarding India’s frontiers.Shah, who is on a three-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, interacted with BSF jawans and said they should protect the country without any worry as the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take care of their families.The Home Minister also visited the last border hamlet of Makwal and told residents that the Modi government is committed to providing every facility and ensuring development in the border areas. Shah, along with Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, visited Makwal border Out Post (BoP), where he met the BSF jawans and spent some time with them, officials said.He was received by the BSF’s Additional Director General (ADG) N S Jamwal. The minister also presented some gifts to jawans and interacted with them, they said.During the interaction, he praised the dedication of the security personnel towards defending India.“On the behalf of all the countrymen, I salute the bravery of our security forces and express my gratitude,” Shah said in a tweet later.The minister said that the central government under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi is fully devoted to the welfare of the security personnel guarding the country and their families.“I want to tell everyone that you should protect the country without any worry. The Modi government will take care of your families”, Shah said.Shah later visited Makwal hamlet, the last village on IB in Jammu to know about the living conditions of the villagers, they said.He interacted with villagers and admired their resilience.Shah also visited border bunkers, where the residents take shelter during cross-border shelling.“As much as a citizen living in the national capital has the right to the resources of the country, so do the citizens living in the border villages (on the resources of the country)”, he said.
“After a long gap, I have come to meet my brothers and sisters in Jammu. I was a bit tense because of the inclement weather and was not sure of meeting you. But by the blessings of the Mata Vaishno Devi, the sun came out and we came together,” the home minister said at a public rally here.Heavy rains on Saturday had cast a shadow over Shah’s scheduled public meeting. However, an improvement in the weather allowed the rally to go through and it was attended by thousands of people who raised high pitch pro-BJP slogans.“Today is the birth anniversary of Pandit Prem Nath Dogra, a leader from J&K who worked for the total integration of the state with India along with Mookerjee by raising the slogan of ‘ek nishan, ek vidhan and ek-pradhan’,” the home minister said.“On August 5, 2019, the Modi-led government took a historic decision and revoked the discriminatory article 370 paving the way for the development of lakhs of people of J&K who have faced injustice over the years,” he said.“It was our dream, the dream of Mookerjee and Dogra and we are happy that this dream was fulfilled in our lifetime and it was only possible because of Modi,” Shah said.He said the credit for setting up grassroots level democracy in J&K for the first time in 70 years goes to the BJP which conducted a successful panchayat, block and district development council polls along with urban local body elections.“Anyone can become a minister and even the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir. The pahadis were being used as a vote bank but not given due representation. Now even their representative stands a chance to be the chief minister,” he said.He said that with the revocation of the controversial article, the people who have suffered immensely and faced injustice have been given their due rights.“Now the Sikhs, Mahajans, Khatris and others have got the right to buy and sell land. West Pakistani refugees, Gorkhas, Valmikis got the citizenship rights and various other communities including Gujjars and Pahadis who were deprived of reservation rights and benefits of forests act got the benefits guaranteed by the constitution,” he said, adding the women also got their rights back with the abrogation of the Article 370.Various central laws were implemented in Jammu and Kashmir as the focus of the BJP government is to ensure development and prosperity of every citizen of the union Territory, he said. “Efforts are on to ensure gas connection to every household along with electricity and water tap connections.”“The new phase of development under the leadership of Modi has started in J&K but attempts are being made by inimical elements to create a hurdle. I have come here to assure you that nobody will be able to create a hurdle and disrupt peace and development,” Shah said.In an apparent reference to the killing of 11 civilians by terrorists in targeted attacks across Kashmir this month, he said some people are raising questions about the prevailing security situation in the UT but “I want to answer them with facts and figures”.“Between 2004 and 2014, a total of 2,081 civilians were killed with average deaths of 239 annually. From 2014 till September this year, 239 civilians unfortunately lost their lives which accounted 30 deaths per year. The figures are down but we are not satisfied,” the home minister said, adding “We want to build such an atmosphere that not a single person loses his life and the terrorism is wiped out.”He said a new phase of development has started which cannot be stopped by anyone.“Jammu and Kashmir is placed in the heart of the prime minister and under his government, there will be no injustice, discrimination or appeasement, he said.Shah said the time for sidelining the people of Jammu has come to an end and now both Kashmir and Jammu will be developed together.“Jammu has borne the brunt of discrimination for years together. Now there will be no injustice with anyone and both Kashmir and Jammu will be developed together and the developed J&K will strengthen India, he said.Listing various steps taken by the government since the formation of the BJP government at the Centre, he said five lakh jobs are being created in Jammu and Kashmir, while 25,000 people have been provided government jobs in the past two years through service selection board.“The three families used to say who will come and invest in J&K…. Till date, we have got an investment of Rs 7,000 crore in Jammu and Rs 5,000 crore in Kashmir. And when we came out with a new industrial policy, the three families who have deprived the people of J&K of various benefits, started raising questions.“We have had Rs 12,000 crore investment due to the efforts of the prime minister and are looking forward to an investment of Rs 51,000 crore by the end of 2022, he said.Targeting the three families, he said they were asking what the government is going to give to J&K. “We have a long list of what we have given to J&K and the people know it very well but the people of J&K are demanding an answer from them as to what they have given to J&K despite ruling the erstwhile state for the past seven decades. Have you thought of anyone else other than your own family members.He said soon after Modi became the prime minister, he released a Rs 55,000-crore financial package, of which Rs 33,000 crore has already been spent on various developmental projects.Shah referred to the opening of medical colleges, setting up of nursing training institutions and AIIMS and said 500 students used to complete their MBBS degrees earlier but now 2,000 students are pursuing medical courses in J&K with the sanctioning of seven new colleges.Referring to the inauguration of the new campus of IIT-Jammu, the home minister said he was surprised to witness such a beautiful campus. He lauded the efforts of the Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan who was also present there along with Union minister Jitendra Singh and Lt Governor Manoj Sinha.Shah said he talked to the directors of IIT, IIM and AIIMS Jammu and asked them to set up a satellite campus for training of local youths so that more of them get admission in these institutions.He said he talked to the 35,000 youths who got jobs, education and skill upgradation under various centrally sponsored schemes and expressed hope that their active involvement would take J&K to new heights.The home minister also talked about various achievements under rail and road projects and said the people of Jammu used to take their children to Delhi to enjoy a metro ride but “they do not need to go there anymore as we are bringing Metro to Jammu and Kashmir within next two years”.He talked about the Delhi-Katra expressway, sanctioning of Rs 700 crore for a new airport and said the government is also planning to set up helipads in all district headquarters to promote religious tourism.Shah also praised the Prime Minister for the “successful campaign” against the coronavirus and said people were apprehensive how India will tackle the situation after the outbreak of the pandemic in view of weak health infrastructure.“Modi fought the virus in the best possible way which led to the minimum loss of life,” he said.Shah said Jammu and Kashmir is the only place in the entire country where all the people are covered by Ayushman Bharat PM-Jay Sehat scheme.
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