Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah Thursday said the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government has "strengthened democracy at grassroots in Jammu and Kashmir, which was mainly ruled by two families".
Addressing the party's national minority convention, Shah said the BJP has strengthened democracy in the Valley by holding local body elections in the state and strengthening the sarpanchs there.
"People kept on saying Kashmir, Kashmir, Kashmir…It has been ruled by two families: Abdullah family and the Mufti family. Local body elections were not held for more than a decade in the state. The BJP government ensured that local body elections happen in the state to strengthen the hands of sarpanchs," Shah said.
The BJP chief's remarks come months after his party withdrew support from the Mehbooba Mufti-led government in the state. PDP and the BJP had entered into an alliance after the 2014 assembly elections threw a fractured mandate.
Describing the local body election in Kashmir as a "big achievement", Shah said the Narendra Modi government at the Centre "ensured the rights of sarpanchs and councillors and also allocated funds to them".
Only the Modi government can ensure the safety of the country against militancy, Shah said.