Prime Minister Narendra Modi exhorted voters to get rid of family rule and corruption and promised to bring development to Kashmir.
“You have seen governments by the Congress, by father and son (National Conference) and by father and daughter (Peoples Democratic Party). Get rid of this family rule and corruption. Give us an opportunity to end corruption in Kashmir,” Modi said at a BJP rally here.
Wearing the ‘Pheran’, a traditional Kashmiri over garment, Modi said he has come to Kashmir to share the grief of the local people and wipe tears from their eyes.
“I came here in July, in August, in September, in October, in November and now in December. I came in 2014 and will come in 2015 to fulfil the dream of ‘Insaniyat, Joomhuriyat and Kashmiriyat’ seen by (former prime minister) Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
“Army soldiers, jawans of the state police have laid down their lives fighting terrorism in Kashmir, but the people here have also died and suffered. I have come to share that grief with you today,” said Modi at a rally that was held amidst unprecedented security.
The prime minister, who was addressing his second rally of the day in the state, said: “Kashmir needs development and prosperity and this is a right nobody can deny you. World’s fastest growing industry is tourism and India does not have any place better than Kashmir to show to the world.”
“Days have to be brought back when our Dal Lake would again be full of tourists. I have come here during days when I was not even a chief minister…,” said Modi a day ahead of the third phase of the assembly election.
Modi said Kashmir has places where a little infrastructure development would open new vistas for tourism.
“Kashmir has hydro power development potential that can give electricity to the entire country. There is a saying that the beauty of mountains and the water of mountains does not help the people living there.
“I will change that perception so that no youth from here has to go outside to seek employment but gets employment in his own state,” said Modi.
He asked the people to snap the shackles of poverty and under development binding the state for the last 30 years.
“Now we must work for development of the local people and the time has come for you to help me bring that development to Kashmir.”
He blamed the state government for doing little during the floods this year.
“I came and announced Rs.1,000 crore relief for the flood victims. I did that because I have seen tragedies. I have seen the earthquake in Kutch and I know what people need during natural calamities,” he said.
He said he had told the SAARC summit in Kathmandu that the real war in the region has to be against poverty and unemployment.
“Since independence of the country 33,000 policemen have sacrificed their lives for the safety of our people. Soldiers have been making sacrifices. Our soldiers lost lives while saving lives of people during the recent floods,” he said.
“First time, soldiers responsible for killing of two youths were identified and punished in such a short time because I had taken over as the prime minister,” said Modi referring to nine soldiers who have been indicted for killing two youth in Budgam district Nov 3 and now face court martial.
“I appeal to you to give a decisive mandate to form BJP government in J&K. Give full mandate to our candidates,” he said.