Those who ruled Kashmir don't want it to democratise, says PM Modi after scrapping of Article 370
Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit out strongly at Kashmiri political leaders a week after the Centre abrogated Article 370 and divided Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories. He accused the leaders of not wanting the democratisation of Jammu and Kashmir as it would hurt their vested interests.
Speaking with news agency IANS, PM Modi said, "Those who ruled Kashmir thinking it is their divine right to do so will dislike democratisation and peddle incorrect narratives. They do not want a self-made, younger leadership to emerge."
PM Modi said that Article 370 had shielded local polity from any sort of accountability. He said that the abrogation of the provision will only allow for greater democracy in Jammu and Kashmir. " Article 370 has helped the local political class avoid transparency and accountability. Its removal will only empower democracy even more," the prime minister said.
The prime minister added that the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh were with the government in its decision to change the status of Jammu and Kashmir. He said that only certain people were against the move. "Please see the list of people who have opposed the decisions about Kashmir - the usual vested interest groups, political dynasties, those who sympathise with terror and some friends in the Opposition. The people of India, irrespective of what their political preference, have supported the steps taken in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. This is about the nation, not politics. The people of India are seeing that tough but essential decisions that were earlier assumed to be impossible are becoming a reality," PM Modi asserted.
PM Modi also held the special status of Jammu and Kashmir responsible for the isolation of the state. The government now wants to give development a chance, he added.
"It is now clear to everyone how Articles 370 and 35(A) fully isolated Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. The status quo of seven long decades clearly could not fulfil people's aspirations. Citizens were kept away from the fruits of development. The greatest casualty was the lack of any proper economic avenues to increase earnings. Our approach is different -- instead of the vicious cycle of poverty, the people need more economic opportunities. For years, intimidation ruled the roost. Let us now give development a chance," PM Modi exclaimed.
He added that the development of Jammu and Kashmir will be according to the wishes of the people of the region. "I want to clearly assure my sisters and brothers of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh that these regions will develop as per the wishes of local people, their dreams and ambitions. The growth of these regions will first and foremost be powered by those belonging to these regions. Articles 370 and 35(A) were like chains that kept people tied. These chains are now broken, people have been unshackled from such dominance and they will now shape their own destiny," he said.