SRINAGAR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a stern rebuke to Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge’s questioning of the relevance of discussing Kashmir and the abrogation of Article 370 during his speeches. Speaking at a Jaipur campaign rally, Modi emphasised Rajasthan’s significant role in Kashmir.

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Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

“When I talk about Kashmir in Rajasthan, they ask if Article 370 is removed from Kashmir, then what is the concern of Rajasthan?” Modi was quoted saying. “I just want to tell the Congress… listen with open ears and send my video to your leaders also. Go to the homes of the brave martyrs of Rajasthan. The soil of their villages will speak the story of its connection with Kashmir. Many heroes from Rajasthan have sacrificed their lives on the soil of Kashmir.” He defended his discussion of Kashmir in his speeches.

In a separate interview with Newsweek, PM Modi further elaborated on the positive developments in Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370. Encouraging firsthand visits to the region, he highlighted the transformative changes happening on the ground.

“People are reaping the peace dividend,” he stated, noting that over 21 million tourists visited Jammu and Kashmir in 2023. Modi emphasised the decline in terror incidents and the disappearance of organized protests like bandh and stone-pelting, which once disrupted normal life.

He highlighted the growing enthusiasm among the youth for sports events in the region, signalling sports as a viable career path for many. Besides, he underscored the empowerment of Kashmiri women, who now enjoy equal property rights regardless of marital status or residency.

After the revocation of Article 370, he said, Jammu and Kashmir has emerged as a global destination for significant events, hosting gatherings like the Formula 4 racing event, Miss World, and G20 meetings. The region is witnessing a surge in the digital economy, startups, innovation, and smart solutions, indicating a new era of progress and development.

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