PM Modi on what changed in J&K after Article 370 abrogation: ‘People are reaping peace dividend’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the abrogation of Article 370 resulted in ‘a new dawn’ for Kashmiri women.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi distributed appointment letter during the launch of various projects and a public rally,at Bakshi Stadium in Srinagar last month.(Waseem Andrabi /Hindustan Times)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday defended the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, saying the move has resulted in a significant decline in terror incidents. 

In an interview to Newsweek, the prime minister that organised shutdowns, stone pelting that disrupted normal life in Kashmir, are things of the past. Modi suggested the reporter to visit the Union territory to witness firsthand the “sweeping positive changes happening on the ground”.

Referring to his visit to Srinagar last month, the prime minister said,”For the first time, people have a new hope in their lives. The process of development, good governance and empowerment of the people is to be seen to be believed.”

“People are reaping the peace dividend,” he told Newsweek,

The prime minister said that more than 21 million tourists visited J&K last year. He added that sports is being seen as a career path for several youth in the UT. He said that the abrogation of Article 370 resulted in ‘a new dawn’ for Kashmiri women who now have the same rights as male counterparts in terms of inheriting property or transferring property to their children, regardless of their marital status or residency.

On August 5, 2019, the Narendra Modi government abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated the then state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories. On December 11 last year, a five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court upheld the decision, directing the holding of elections in the region by September 2024 and the restoration of the statehood at the earliest.

The Lok Sabha polls in the Union Territory will be held in the first five phases on April 19 (Udhampur), April 26 (Jammu), May 7 (Anantnag-Rajouri), May 13 (Srinagar) and May 20 (Baramulla).

The Election Commission has announced that the assembly elections in the now Union territory will be held immediately after the general elections.

“All parties in Jammu and Kashmir said the Assembly election should be held with the parliamentary polls, but the entire administrative machinery said it cannot be done simultaneously. Every Assembly segment would have 10-12 candidates, which would mean more than 1,000 candidates. Every candidate has to be provided forces. It was not possible at this time,” chief election commissioner Rajiv Kumar had said.

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