Asserting that the BJP walked out of the power in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, which it shared with the PDP on the issue of Panchayat elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi while rolling out Ayushman Bharat scheme in J&K said that a new chapter for a new decade had been written in the UT after the conclusion of recently held DDC polls.
“We were part of the government in Jammu and Kashmir but we left it on the issue of Panchayat elections [which were being delayed]. For this we left the government and came out on the road with the common person,” Modi said while inaugurating the public health insurance scheme on Saturday.
“With the conclusion of DDC polls, we have realised Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘Gram Swaraj’ dream, of a three tier grassroots democracy [of block, panchayat and district councils]. I followed every phase of election and saw how despite the severe cold, despite the pandemic, young, old and women came out to vote. I saw in their eyes the dream of leaving their past behind and hoping for a better future. Jammu and Kashmir has strengthened the roots of democracy,” Modi said while congratulating Lt Gov Manoj Sinha and his team for conducting peaceful elections.
The Prime Minister also attacked the Congress, without naming it, for delaying local body polls in Puducherry.
“There are people in Delhi who keep attacking me, who try to teach me the values of democracy but despite a Supreme Court ruling in 2018 which sought local body polls in the UT, the same people have so far prevented elections from taking place there. They don’t trust democracy,” Modi alleged.
The Prime Minister said that the ongoing works of development in the UT were based on the ‘three mantras’ of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, ‘Insaniyat, Jamhooriyat and Kashmiriyat’.
Modi recounted several works of development that have taken place in J&K over the past few months, such as development of nearly 800 wellness centres, benefits to over 1 lakh people who availed health insurance of up to Rs 5 lakh through the health insurance scheme, buying nearly 12 lakh metric tonnes from apple growers of the valley.
The Prime Minister also said that within the next two to three years the railway network of the UT will be connected with the network in the rest of the country. Within the same time period, he added, that the administration was trying to extend piped water to every house in the UT.