Defending the abrogation of J&K’s special status under Article 370 and 35-A, PM Narendra Modi said his government has implemented almost 200 central laws and the panchayati raj system for the people who were “deprived” of these benefits before. Speaking in Palli village in Samba, he pointed out that people in J&K’s villages, women, the poor and deprived sections of society are the biggest beneficiaries of central schemes for LPG, toilets, electricity, cheap or free healthcare, land rights and water connections.
Modi said J&K will write a new chapter of success in the next 25 years, which will be the “amrit kaal” of Indian independence. The youth of the region will get employment with the rapid pace of development, he said. “Local youth of Palli will get jobs,” he said. “I met panchayat representatives, heard them out, their dreams and mission.They showed me what ‘sab ka prayas’ actually means. ” The meeting marked Modi’s first public function here after the abrogation of special status. Before this, the PM visited army camps in Rajouri and Nowshera in October 2019 and November 2021 to celebrate Diwali with soldiers stationed on the border.
The PM said the celebration of Panchayati Raj Day in J&K “marks a big change” as it is proof “that democracy has reached the grassroots”. He expressed satisfaction that panchayat and district body elections were conducted peacefully for the first time in J&K in 2020.
The PM referred to his interaction with a UAE delegation just before the public meeting for investments in J&K. He said private investment of only Rs 17,000 crore reached J&K in seven decades, but investment proposals amounting to Rs 38,000 crore were “cleared” for the region over the past two years. Tourism is thriving once again too, he said.