Elections in J&K soon, statehood will be restored, says Amit Shah

According to the home minister, Jammu and Kashmir is a priority for the Modi government and polls are in the offing once delimitation is over.

Amit Shah, Karnataka
Amit Shah praised the Jammu and Kashmir administration's efforts while speaking on Saturday.

Home minister Amit Shah assured on Saturday that Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir will be held after completion of the ongoing delimitation process and statehood will be restored once the situation becomes normal there.

“The delimitation process has started. After its completion, we will hold the elections. Some people have said many things, but I want to tell you that I had given assurance in Parliament that the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir will be restored. Once situation in Jammu and Kashmir becomes normal, the statehood will be restored,” he said, while virtually releasing India’s first ‘District Good Governance Index’, reported PTI.

According to the home minister, Jammu and Kashmir is a priority for the Modi government and multipronged efforts are being made for its all-round development.

Shah alleged that some people want to create confusion in the minds of the people of the Valley and he wanted to request everyone not to fall into their trap.

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Insisting that Jammu and Kashmir can be developed only through democracy, he added: “But to sustain the democracy, peace is necessary. I want to appeal to the youth of Jammu and Kashmir not to get instigated by the statements of vested interests. I want to tell the youth to have faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have faith in Jammu and Kashmir administration.”

He further said: “Those who are saying that the Valley’s land will be usurped, they should be asked whose land has been taken away so far? By spreading such lies, they are trying to put barrier in the development of Jammu and Kashmir.”

Also read: J&K parties slam granting of land in tourist hotspots to Armed Forces

“Those who were saying that violence will enhance. They should be asked whether violence has gone up or reduced. They had said no investment will come, but the fact is that already Rs 12,000 crore of investment has come. Tourists arrivals have also gone up and Jammu and Kashmir is marching towards development,” he reportedly said, and exhorted the youth of the Valley to be part of the development process.

Shah added that some political parties were hurt that the Panchayati Raj system had been implemented in J&K and they also said that law and order had deteriorated after the abrogation of Article 370.

“Now, 30,000 people’s representatives (panchayat members) are serving the people.  There has been speedy development after the implementation of the Act… there has been 40 per cent reduction in terror-related incidents and 57 per cent reduction in deaths since Article 370 was abrogated. It shows that peace has no connection with the change. Peace has connection with the administration. When people get good administration, people get involved with the administration,” he was quoted as saying.

He also praised the Jammu and Kashmir administration’s efforts and for implementing central government development schemes properly. “People are getting direct benefits. Therefore, naturally, middlemen are upset,” he said.

On tourism, Shah pointed to Jammu and Kashmir’s potential for the same. “This winter, there have been record tourist arrivals in Jammu and Kashmir. This number will keep growing in the coming days,” he said, adding that tourism has direct connection with employment.

According to the home minister, the budget for Jammu and Kashmir has been increased by the Modi government from Rs 9,000 crore to Rs 21,000 crore.

(With inputs from PTI)

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