SRINAGAR: Union Minister for Home Affairs and Cooperation, Amit Shah, on the third day of his visit to Jammu and Kashmir inaugurated and laid foundation stones of various development projects in Srinagar today. Many dignitaries including the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha and Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh were also present on the occasion.
In his address, Amit Shah said that on August 5, 2019, the Government had taken a decision and under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a new era of development has begun in Jammu and Kashmir, especially in the Valley and by the year 2024 beautiful results will be seen.
He said that all-round development of Kashmir is the heartfelt wish of Narendra Modi and I have come only to speak about development. But before that I also want to speak about what is on my mind. I was taunted, cursed, I was condemned in very strong words and I want to speak openly with you today, and that is why today I am standing before you without any bulletproof protection and security.
The Union Home Minister said that Farooq Abdullah has advised me that the Government of India should talk to Pakistan, but I want to tell Farooq sahib and especially all of you that if I want to talk, then I will talk to my brothers and sisters and the youth of the Valley.
He said that we want to talk with you, that is why, while talking to the youth, I said that I want to be friends with the youth of the Valley and I extended a hand of friendship to them. I am sure of this because there is no ill will in our intention and we do not harbour any ill feelings. This step has been taken with the sole aim of developing the Valley, Jammu & Kashmir and the newly formed Ladakh. I tell you that what Kashmir needs, will be seen before your very eyes by 2024. Shah said Kashmir is very close to Narendra Modi’s heart, whenever he speaks, he wants to know whether all the schemes are being implemented properly or not, he asks whether the benefits of all the schemes like the rest of the states of India are reaching the beneficiaries or not.
Amit Shah said that I want to assure you that the people should get rid of fear from their hearts, no one can disturb the peace and development journey of Kashmir and they can trust the Government of India. The intention and motive of those who disturb this journey of development is not clear. They ask why curfew was imposed after August 5, why the internet was shut down. They mislead the youth of Kashmir and today I want to answer all of them and say that the people of Kashmir have as much right over the country as I do.
He said that after August 5, if the internet had not been shut down, had curfew not been imposed, then who would have died in the situation that would have arisen by inciting the sentiments of the youth, and the answer is that the youth of Kashmir would have been killed. We did not want anyone to fire at the youth of Kashmir. Whether these people want to understand or not, these three families have ruled here for 70 years, we understand how big the burden of a funeral of his young son is for an aged father. 40,000 people were killed in the Valley when they were in power. They say it is not good if someone is killed, but they do not condemn the one who killed. I have come here to make it clear to you that we will not allow them to be killed, we will not allow them to disturb peace, and peace and harmony will prevail here.
The Union Home and Cooperation Minister said that many people raised questions that after the abrogation of Article 370, the land of Kashmiris in the Valley will be snatched. You ask in your village how much land has been lost in two years. These people spread lies, it is not true. If you visit your village, then tell them that the land has not been taken away in my village. These people want to keep development divided, they want to save their power, they want to continue corruption that they have been indulging in for the past 70 years.
He said that the Lieutenant Governor has given jobs to more than 20,000 people and I can claim that neither a single recommendation was made nor a single person had to pay money. The era of giving jobs to people close to you is now over. Those who have talent, who have ability, who want to devote their youth for the development of Kashmir, are getting jobs. It is causing pain to them that people are getting jobs without their recommendation, and they are wondering how is this happening. I want to say that this will happen and now the corrupt practices of these three families will not work.
Amit Shah said Sufism had come to India from Central Asia and Iran via Kashmir, and Kashmir had presented Sufism to the whole of India. I have come to meet Sufi saints and hope has arisen in my mind that there can be peace forever in Jammu and Kashmir.
Appealing to the youth of Kashmir, he said that what good did those who placed stones and weapons in your hands do. They talk about Pakistan. Pakistan Administered Kashmir is nearby, ask whether villages there have electricity, hospitals, medical colleges, drinking water, toilets for women. There is nothing there and these people talk about Pakistan. I have come to tell you that you have as much right in India as any citizen of India. You have as much right to development and the treasury of the Government of India as every citizen of India has. The people of Kashmir have to take this process forward with determination.
The Union Home Minister said that three families ruled for 70 years. I want to ask that why did the youth and women of Kashmir for 70 years not have the right to become Panchs, Sarpanchs, to contest elections in Taluka Panchayats and Zila Panchayats. For 70 years, 87 MLAs, 6 MPs were made out of people in your close circle. They are afraid that today a person who has become a sarpanch, tomorrow he will go to the tehsil panchayat, thereafter to district panchayat, then he will become an MLA, and all this without their recommendation and the one who has become an MLA could also become the Chief Minister. If one of you becomes the Chief Minister, what will happen to these families who ruled for 70 years? Today 30,000 people have become elected representatives of the people of Kashmir through the democratic process. I want to tell the youth of Kashmir that they should join the democratic process and carry forward this process which has been stalled for years. You can also become an MLA, a member of the Lok Sabha, a minister in the Government of India and the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and no one can stop you.
Amit Shah said that these people were ruling for 70 years stalling democracy, and then Narendra Modi took democracy to the villages and homes. Everyone has cast their votes fearlessly, up to 98 percent voting took place and people are doing their work today. People from the hills never received the benefit of reservation, but now they will start getting it. I ask you whether gas cylinders reached every woman’s house in the valley for 70 years, we have tried that gas cylinders should reach every house. Electricity is reaching every house in Jammu and Kashmir. Why did not all this happen in 70 years, who had stopped it from being done. But how could that have been done, as they used to go to England for 6 months in a year. I hope that the next Chief Minister of Kashmir shall also be one who does not go to London, but instead visits Anantnag in Kashmir and listens to the voice of the people of Kashmir.
The Union Home Minister said Narendra Modi has started giving houses to 55,000 people in Jammu and Kashmir, out of which more than 20,000 people have got houses. He said that I promise you that before December 2022, no one will be homeless and everyone will have their own house. Modi has completed the work of providing toilets in every household of Kashmir, the work of providing pure drinking water from taps has also started in every household.
The work of providing tap water has been completed in two districts of the Valley and will be completed in 11 other districts by December this year. By December 2022, the work of providing tap water to every household in Kashmir will be completed. Shah said that I want to know from those who ask questions again and again that why did they not provide gas, toilets, houses, electricity and drinking water from the tap in every house.
The Union Home Minister said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given health expenses up to Rs. 5 lakh to 60 crore poor people across the country. When Kashmir’s turn came, the Prime Minister told Manoj Sinha that Kashmir has suffered a lot, there are a lot of hurt in Kashmir, so instead of only the poor, provide every Kashmiri health assistance of up to Rs. 5 lakh. Under this, the SEHAT scheme was started in which the Jammu and Kashmir administration is bearing health expenses of up to Rs. 5 lakh for every person of Jammu and Kashmir. Shah said that today the child of poor Kashmiri is not helpless for lack of treatment for any serious illness of his aged father. Today he takes his elderly father to the hospital and saves his father’s life by swiping the card given by Narendra Modi. Shah said that this scheme is for the poor in the whole country but in Jammu and Kashmir this scheme is for every Kashmiri. He said that I want to ask the previous governments why they did not make this arrangement in 70 years.
Amit Shah said that today there is no need to pay any commission for widow and old age assistance and children’s scholarship, assistance directly goes into the beneficiary’s account at the press of a button. Every year, Rs. Six thousand are sent by Narendra Modi to 12 lakh farmers of Jammu and Kashmir and they receive this amount directly into their account. The Home Minister said the people of Jammu & Kashmir should think that why all these things did not happen earlier, why have they happened only in the last two years. All of you should ask those who ruled earlier to give an account of what they did.
Shah said that the whole world fought the COVID-19 pandemic, India and Kashmir also fought under the leadership of Narendra Modi. The COVID-19 vaccine was produced and it was administered. The first 100 percent vaccination in the country was done in Jammu and Kashmir because Narendra Modi believes that Jammu and Kashmir has suffered a lot and Jammu and Kashmir should be protected first from the virus. The work of administering the first dose of vaccine to every person including young and the old people of Jammu and Kashmir has been completed. Half the work of the second phase has also been completed. He said that this is an example of Narendra Modi’s attachment to Kashmir.
The Union Home Minister said that 40,000 people were killed and these people always kept saying talk to Pakistan, talk to the Hurriyat, and what was the result? They destroyed tourism in the Valley. Shah said that from March 2020 to March 2021, 1,31,000 tourists from India and abroad visited Jammu and Kashmir, which is the highest figure since Independence. He said that those disturbing peace wanted no industry to come up, youth to remain unemployed and indulge in stone pelting. We want youth to pick up books instead of stones, instruments instead of weapons and to make their life.
Amit Shah said that in the kind of development environment in the country, the development of Jammu and Kashmir should be better than that so today we are going to announce many schemes. The work of a 500 bedded hospital in Srinagar at a cost of Rs. 115 crore has been completed, today the foundation stone of Handwara Medical College is also being laid from here. Roads worth Rs. 2,000 crore were built last year and this time we are starting work of constructing roads worth Rs. 4,000 crore. He said that a rolling trophy for cricket, football and basketball has been started, for which the Lt. Governor has given Rs. 15 crore. Shah requested the youth of Kashmir to think why there is no youth from Kashmir in the Indian cricket team. He said the youth of Kashmir has immense talent and this trophy will connect the youth with these sports.
The Union Home Minister said today, a big programme is starting under which 75 Sufi religious places including Temples, Gurudwaras and Muslim religious places will be upgraded at government expense to restore the Ganga-Jamuni culture here.
The Home Minister said that during the rule of three families in 70 years, a total investment of Rs. 12,000 to 15,000 crore had come. Narendra Modi brought a new industrial policy for Jammu and Kashmir, in this policy the highest tax concession has been given in the whole country. In just 6 months since this policy was launched, we have crossed the investment figure of Rs. 12,000 crores. By 2022, an investment of more than Rs. 50,000 crore will come into Jammu and Kashmir and 5 lakh children will receive employment. He said that Pulwama was earlier dominated by militants and now AIIMS is being built in Pulwama at a cost of Rs. 2,000 crore. He said earlier colleges were closed for the youth, there was stone pelting, today IITs, NIFT etc. are coming up at a cost of about Rs. 900 crore. Along with this, two AIIMS and a medical college have also come here. He said that many development works are moving ahead and I am sure that Jammu and Kashmir is going to become the most developed Union Territory of the country.
The Union Home Minister said that Narendra Modi wants to take forward the work of development in Jammu & Kashmir, are the youth of the valley and Kashmir ready to support Modi in this work? He said that we will not allow the youth to be misguided, we will not allow stones to remain in their hands and only a positive spirit will develop Jammu and Kashmir.
The Union Home Minister said that neither the government, nor the Governor nor I can carry forward the work of development of the Valley and Kashmir, and only the youth and people of the Valley can do it. He said that I have come with an open heart before the people of the Valley that time has come to usher in a new era. Get out of the stereotypes, ask those who mislead you, what they did. He said enough is enough, 40,000 people have died, do you want to come out of this atmosphere? Shah said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir and the Valley should decide whether to follow the path of Narendra Modi and make Jammu and Kashmir the most developed Union Territory of the country.