Terming the ongoing Assembly election as “historic”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 13 said people of Jammu and Kashmir have shown their faith in Indian democracy by participating in large numbers in the polls which the world is closely watching.
“People of Jammu and Kashmir have shown full faith in the Indian democracy and given a strong message to the world. This has scripted history in independent India.
“This election has become very important for integrity and sovereignty of India. …They (people of Jammu and Kashmir) have introduced Indian democracy to the world through the massive polling in Jammu and Kashmir elections. You have done a great work,” Modi said.
Hitting out at the previous government in New Delhi for all the ills in Jammu and Kashmir, he said “the work which could not been done by governments sitting in New Delhi, you (J&K people) have done it by pressing a simple button of EVM”.
Modi said that by pressing the electronic voting machine, people of the state have given a clear message to the world that the EVM is more powerful than the AK-47.
“Several elections, including Lok Sabha polls, have taken place in recent times in which Modi came out victorious. Recently Haryana, Jharkhand, MP elections were held. But in the entire world, the elections in J&K are being discussed.”
“Why are only the J&K elections being discussed across the world. What is the reason? The reason is over 70 per cent of polling,” he said.
Seeking votes for a majority government of BJP in J&K for overall development in the state, Modi said, “The destiny of Jammu and Kashmir will only change through development. J&K needs schools, roads, water, power and health services. For this we need your support”.
Referring to the surcharged election environment in Jammu and Kashmir, Modi said the scenario was like none seen before.
“When I used to visit the state in the past, I used to see people doing their chores without any dreams and zeal in their lives. There was no shine in their eyes and they had dejected look on their faces. They were living in an environment of hopelessness,” he said.
After thirty years of “hopelessness and despair”, he said the dreams of people have come alive again and this makes him feel very happy.
“Keep your happiness and dreams alive. Don’t allow your dreams to die. This is my luck that I am able to witness lakhs of people before me (attending my rallies) which no political leader or party has seen till now.”
“Before this, Jammu and Kashmir people have given such a blessing to no other political leader. The love and affection, you have given me, I will return it with interest by ensuring development,” he said.
In a bid to strike chord with the people of Kathua, Modi invoked contribution of Praja Parishad and Jan Sangh, which spearheaded an agitation for the integration of Jammu and Kashmir with the Indian Union.
“It is land of Praja Parishad. It is land where from Jan Sangh unfurled it flag (for unification). Where founder of Praja Parishad movement Baldev Thakur dedicated his life to this cause. Today when I see huge a crowd thronging the venue, I bow before you, the people of this sacred land,” the Prime Minister said.
Criticising opinion polls on TV channels, Modi said poll predictions were mostly proved wrong and political analysts will know the actual scenario only if they came to the ground.
On Kathua being close to International Border and facing the problem of Pakistani shelling and firing, Modi said people of the district were brave to face the bullets and defend the country’s borders without a uniform and promised that he would fulfil their demand for reservation in the army.