Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said assembly polls will be held with ”full transparency” in Jammu and Kashmir after the Election Commission publishes the revised electoral rolls and asserted that the Modi government will wipe out terrorism from the Union territory.
Addressing a public rally in Baramulla district of north Kashmir, Shah lashed out at those advocating dialogue with Pakistan.
”…I don’t want to talk to Pakistan but I want to talk to the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Urging the youths to shun the path of violence, Shah said terrorism has claimed 42,000 lives in Jammu and Kashmir since the 1990s and asked whether it has ever benefited anyone.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has almost ended the ecosystem of terrorism in J-K, Shah said, adding the Modi government does not tolerate terrorism and wants to wipe it out.
“We want to make Jammu and Kashmir the most peaceful place in the country,” he said.
Shah said due to the improved security situation, 22 lakhs tourists have visited Jammu and Kashmir this year so far.
“Earlier it was a terrorist hotspot but today it is a tourist hotspot. Imagine how many people have benefited from this,” he said.
He blamed the families of the Abdullahs (National Conference), Muftis (PDP) and Nehru-Gandhi (Congress) for the ”lack of development” in Jammu and Kashmir as they ruled the erstwhile state for most of the years since the country’s independence.
“There are some people who have ruled for the last 70 years and are advising me to talk to Pakistan but I have a clear mandate that I don’t want to talk to Pakistan, but I want to talk to the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
On holding assembly polls, Shah said a political process has started in this regard.
“I want to assure you that once the work of publishing electoral rolls by the Election Commission is completed, elections will be conducted with full transparency and your own elected representatives will govern here,” he said.
Shah said some people often talk about Pakistan but he wanted to know how many villages in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir have electricity connections.
“We have ensured in the last three years that all villages in Kashmir now have electricity connection,” he said.
Coming down heavily on the three political families for the second consecutive day, the home minister alleged that their rule was full of misgovernance, corruption and lack of development.
“Mufti and company, Abdullah and sons and the Congress have done nothing for the welfare of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he alleged.
The home minister repeated what he had said at his rally in Rajouri on Tuesday that earlier, power in Jammu and Kashmir was with three families, 87 MLAs and six MPs.
“Now 30,000 people, who were elected representatives of panchayat and districts councils, are part of the governance process,” he said.
He said the first work done under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is that democracy has reached the grass root level.
Shah said due to Article 370, there was no reservation for the SCs and STs but after its abrogation, quota benefits could be given to Gujjars, Bakarwal and Pahadis.
“Everyone will get their due share under the reservation. There will be no loss of share for anyone,” he said.
On Tuesday, Shah announced that ST reservation benefits will be given to the Pahadi community along with Gujjar and Bakarwal communities following a recommendation of the Sharma Commission.
He said that Rs 56,000 crore investment has come to Jammu and Kashmir in the last three years which will give employment opportunities to five lakh people, while just Rs 17,000 crore investment had come since independence.
“Today I have come to ask Farooq Abdullah Sahab and Mehooba Mufti ji to give an account of how much investment has come into Jammu and Kashmir during their rule of 70 years. How many industries had come up? How many factories were set up and how many youths benefited from employment,” Shah said.
The home minister said the Modi government has given one lakh houses to the poor in Jammu and Kashmir.
He alleged that rampant corruption led to underdevelopment in Jammu and Kashmir and said the Modi government has ensured that every rupee being spent goes to those most deserving.
He said even though 42,000 people lost their lives due to terrorism, no politician lost his son.
The home minister said, “Mehbooba ji and Farooq sahab handed over stones and guns to the youths but Modi ji, by bringing industries to the Valley, has handed over mobiles and laptops to these youths so that they are able to find employment,” he said.
He said it was the third day of his visit to Jammu and Kashmir and he was happy to see that development has taken place in the union territory.
“Some days back, I read a tweet from Mehbooba Mufti in which she had asked me to give an ‘account’ of our work.
”Mehbooba Ji, keep your eyes and ears open. You along with Farooq (Abdullah) sahab should see what we have given and compare it with the rule of three families over the last 75 years,” he said.
Shah said all states have an Anti-Corruption Bureau except Jammu and Kashmir and alleged that the ”three families” were responsible for stalling it.
“I wonder why they did not allow it,” he said.