Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his Independence Day speech that there could be early elections in Jammu & Kashmir. “The delimitation exercise is going on in J&K under a retired chief justice of the Supreme Court. We want early completion of the delimitation exercise so that there are early elections. There should be J&K MLAs. The state should have its own cabinet and chief minister so that it can march towards development with new vigour,” he said from the ramparts of the Red Fort.
He also sent a message to China and Pakistan and brought up the recent clash in Ladakh, stressing that India is fighting both terrorism and expansionism valiantly, and the country was safe, strong and powerful.
Making his resolve of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) the centrepiece of the nearly 90-minute speech, the PM said: “How long will the process of exporting raw material and importing finished goods continue? We will have to be self-reliant.” The need of the hour for India should be to increase its contribution to the world economy and strengthen our own skill development.
Foreign direct investment had broken all previous records last year, he said. “Even during the pandemic, top companies of the world are turning to India. The world didn’t get fascinated with India without a reason. This confidence has grown because of the hard work put in by India in its policies and democracy and to strengthen the foundation of its economy. Today many businesses of the world are viewing India as the hub of the supply chain. So now, we have to move ahead with the mantra of ‘Make for World’ alongside ‘Make in India’.”
He added that the mindset should be “Vocal for Local” and countrymen should take pride in local products.
All six lakh villages would be connected by optical fiber within 1,000 days. The Lakshadweep islands would be connected with an optical fiber cable.
He also referred to the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. “A peaceful culmination has been achieved to the age-old issue of Ram Janmbhoomi. The citizens of India have shown exemplary restraint and wisdom and acted responsibly. It is simply unprecedented and a motivating factor for the future,” Modi added.