J&K is now free from shackles, new dawn and better tomorrow awaits: PM Modihttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/jammu-and-kashmir-article-370-narendra-modi-lok-sabha-rajya-sabha-5883449/

J&K is now free from shackles, new dawn and better tomorrow awaits: PM Modi

Speaking on J&K's and Ladakh's future, the Prime Minister said the bills passed in the Lok Sabha will ensure integration and empowerment.

PM Modi also thanked political parties for their overcoming ideological differences to support the government’s move in Parliament.

In his very first comments on the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, minutes after it was passed in the Lok Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called it a ‘momentous occasion’ and said, “Together we are, together we shall rise and together we will fulfill the dreams of 130 crore Indians.”

Taking a dig at all the political parties in the Valley, Modi said Jammu and Kashmir is now free from the shackles of “vested interest groups”, who believed in emotional blackmail and never cared for people’s empowerment. He lauded people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh for their courage and resilience. “A new dawn, better tomorrow awaits,” Modi wrote on Twitter.

The Bill, which bifurcates Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories, was passed with 370 votes in favour and 70 against in the Lower House. The resolution and the bill were approved by Rajya Sabha on Monday. Follow LIVE updates here

The government had on Monday revoked some provisions of the Article 370 to take away Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, and brought in a bill for splitting the state into two Union territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, a bold and far-reaching decision that seeks to redraw the map and future of a region at the centre of protracted militancy .

Speaking on J&K’s and Ladakh’s future, the Prime Minister said the bills passed in the Lok Sabha will ensure integration and empowerment. “These steps will bring the youth into the mainstream and give them innumerable opportunities to showcase their skills and talents. Local infrastructure will significantly improve,” Modi said.

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Congratulating the people of Ladakh, Modi said it is a matter of great joy that their long-standing demand of being declared a Union Territory has been fulfilled. “This decision will give impetus to the overall prosperity of the region and ensure better developmental facilities,” he said.

He also paid tribute to former leaders who contributed highly to the enactment of Article 370, including Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Babasaheb Ambedkar and SP Mookerjee. “The passage of key Bills pertaining to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh are a fitting tribute to the great Sardar Patel, who worked for India’s unity, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, whose views are well known and Dr. SP Mookerjee who devoted his life for India’s unity and integrity,” Modi wrote on Twitter.

Explained: This is what has changed in Jammu and Kashmir

The first meetings relating to the special status of J&K were held during May 15-16, 1949 at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s residence with PM Jawaharlal Nehru present.

PM Modi also thanked political parties for their overcoming ideological differences to support the government’s move in Parliament. “In Parliament, political parties rose to the occasion, overcame ideological differences and took part in a rich debate that increased the pride of our Parliamentary democracy. For that, I congratulate all MPs, various political parties and their leaders,” he said.

Read | Jammu and Kashmir loses special status, to become a Union Territory: A timeline

On Monday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah Monday announced that the government had scrapped the special status granted to the state of Jammu and Kashmir by modifying Article 370 of the Constitution. With special provisions gone, Indian laws will now apply to the proposed Union Territories.