Jammu: Union Minister of Home Affairs and the Minister of Cooperation Amit Shah on Sunday asserted that those trying to vitiate peaceful atmosphere in J&K would never be allowed to succeed and the ruling dispensation was aiming at complete “elimination of terrorism here.”
He maintained the statistics showed significant decline in the number of killings in the past around 8 years. However, the present administration wanted to create a situation where none would lose life in the mindless violence here in J&K.
Shah, who is presently on 3-day visit to J&K, was addressing a well-attended public rally here at Bhagwati Nagar Jammu.
Union Minister of Education and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan and Union Minister of State in PMO Dr Jitendra Singh and the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha shared the dais with Shah. Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla was also present there.In his around 26-minute address, he targetted “three families” who he alleged “served only their interests and their respective families during their rules” spanning decades and “ruined J&K.”
This was Shah’s first visit to J&K after the Centre revoked J&K’s special status and bifurcated it into two Union territories of J&K and Ladakh on August 5, 2019. Hence it found special mention in his address rather at the very outset he questioned the lack of enthusiasm among the crowd while responding to his opening slogans of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai.”
“Article 370 Khatam Honay Ke Baad Pehli Baar Aaya Hoon, Josh Kam Kyun Hai Puray Josh Sey Boliye...(After the repeal of Article 370, I’ve come here for the first time. Why are you low on energy while responding to slogans? Demonstrate full enthusiasm and respond),” he exhorted the crowd and the latter responded enthusiastically.
He stated that the era of “three families ruling the roost in J&K political space and echelons of power” was over following abrogation of Article 370.
Touching the right chords, the Union Home Minister talked about “discrimination meted out to Jammu all these years.” He asserted that the “times of discrimination (against Jammu)” and the policy of “appeasement” too were over after annulling the Article 370 and 35-A.
In the backdrop of spate in violence in Kashmir particularly the civilian killings, the Union Home Minister chose to quote statistics to point out that the killings had registered a decline, thus indicating improvement in security scenario.
Substantiating his point with some statistics, he stated that between the years 2004-2014, 2,081 civilians died i.e., 208 civilians lost lives per year. From 2014 to September 2021, 239 civilians lost their lives in an unfortunate manner, which meant that 30 civilians fell prey to violence per year during this period against 208 (between 2004-14).
However in the same breath he averred that the present regime was not satisfied only with the decline in number rather it wanted to completely “wipe away terrorism” and thus reached a situation where no one would be killed.
“Jahan Tak Suraksha Ka Sawal Hai Kuchh Log Sawal Utha Rahey Hain....30 Ka Aankada Kam Hai Magar Hamein Santosh Nahin...Hum Aisi Stithti Ka Nirman Karna Chahtey Hain Ke Ek Bhi Vyakti Ki Jaan Yahan Par Na Jaaye Aur Dehshat Gardi Purantaya Samapt Ho,” he said.
“Now there will be no injustice with Jammu. Jammu will get its due. There will be no discrimination and no appeasement. Both Kashmir and Jammu will progress and prosper together and contribute in the growth of India. In the process, none would be allowed to disrupt tempo of development in J&K. Though there are elements trying to disrupt it but they will not succeed,” Shah added.
Shah said, “Three families mocked at me asking what I will give to the people here. I have come with an account of what we will give. I don't want to name them, but everybody knows them. They are asking us what we have done. We have done what they could not do in 70 years. But this is the time for them to give an account of what they did during 70 years. Narendra Modi gave a package of Rs 55,000 Cr as soon as he became the Prime Minister, out of which Rs 35,000 Cr have been spent and 21 schemes have been completed. You were worried only for your families. This is the rule of Narendra Modi, there will be no injustice and no one will be appeased. We have given employment, empowerment and space to those who remained neglected in 70 years.”
The Union Home Minister said that on August 5, 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a historic decision, ended Articles 370 and 35A and lakhs of citizens of Jammu and Kashmir received their rights. “Earlier people did not have the right to buy land, refugees did not have rights; people did not get reservation. But the credit goes to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and now no one has to fear, because all the rights under the Indian Constitution are available to everyone. Women were also given their rights. To protect the interests of workers, the Minimum Wage Act was implemented, the Safai Karamcharis Act was implemented, to protect the rights and interests of the Dalits and tribals and to stop the atrocities, land was leased to tribals and this right was also given by the Narendra Modi government,” he added.
Earlier Shah landed in Jammu at around 12.19 pm and reached at the venue at around 1.20 pm, two hours behind the schedule. In this connection he extended his gratitude to the people for turning out in such a large number bad weather and waiting patiently for two hours.
He did mention that inclement weather conditions had at one point, almost scuttled the prospects of his rally. “Given the weather conditions, I too had apprehensions. Weather was pretty bad and water logging was there at the venue. I was worried if I would be able to meet you, the people of Jammu or not, But see, with the blessings of Maa Vaishno, weather has opened up and I’m with you,” he again struck the right chord with the crowd amid cheers.
He said, “When we announced the new industrial policy, three families, which exploited the people of J&K for years, used to ask who would come here. But it is the magic of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi that till now an investment of Rs 12,000 Cr has been received and before 2022, an investment of around Rs. 51,000 Cr will be received. With this, 5 lakh youth of Jammu will get jobs. So far, land has been allotted for an investment of Rs. 7,000 Cr in Jammu and Rs. 5,000 Cr in Kashmir.”
Shah maintained that October 24 was a pious day, the birthday of Pandit Prem Nath Dogra. “Not only Jammu but the people of India can never forget Prem Nath Dogra. It was that great personality who by establishing Praja Parishad, along with Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, gave the slogan of ‘Ek Desh Mein Do Nishan, Do Vidhan and Do Pradhan Nahi Chalengay,” he averred.
While enlisting achievements of the government on account of providing jobs to youth, he also sought to link it to the efforts of eliminating militancy.”If 45,000 youth were engaged in the service of the poor of Jammu and Kashmir, then terrorists cannot harm anything and these youths will change Jammu and Kashmir within no time. Apart from this, 25,000 government jobs have been given by the Service Selection Board, out of which 7,000 people have been given appointment letters today,” he said.
Shah said that 4 percent reservation was given for hill tribe communities and now their representative would sit with pride in the assembly.“The credit for setting up grassroots level democracy in J&K for the first time in 70 years goes to the BJP which conducted a successful panchayat, block and district development council polls along with urban local body elections. Anyone can become a minister and even the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. The monopoly of three families is over. The pahadis were being used as a vote bank but were not given due representation. Now even their representative stands a chance to be the Chief Minister. Reservation has also been given for people living near the international border,” he said.Shah said, “What did 3 families give to Jammu & Kashmir in 70 years - 87 MLAs and 6 MPs. Narendra Modi has provided 30,000 elected representatives. We all had a dream that Shyama Prasad Mookerji’s dream should be achieved and we saw in our lifetime what he sacrificed for. It is because of Narendra Modi that we have been able to see that day and today the dream of Shyama Prasad Mookerji is being fulfilled. Now the Sikhs, Mahajans, Khatris and others have got the right to buy and sell land.”