LS Polls 2024:

Strong Govt. Strong India PM Modi in Udhampur

Kashmir Magazine

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Apr 12 addressed a huge rally in Jammu’s Udhampur with the word that “strong government is must for strong India”. He said the upcoming Lok Sabha election is to elect a strong government for strong India.
PM Modi addressed a rally as a star campaigner for Union Minister Jitendra Singh. Addressing the rally he said that this election is to elect a strong government. Ahead of his rally, the authorities activated multi-tier security setup, including a ban on flying of drones.
“Modi thinks far ahead. So what has happened so far is just the trailer. I have to get busy in creating a new and wonderful picture of the new Jammu and Kashmir. The time is not far when Assembly Elections will be held in Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir will get the status of statehood. You will be able to share your dreams with your MLA and your ministers, PM Modi said in his address.
Taking a dig at regional political parties, PM Modi said, “For the sake of power, they had built a wall of 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. Due to your blessings, Modi demolished the wall of Article 370. I have also buried the debris of that wall in the ground. I challenge any political party in India, especially Congress, to announce that they will bring back Article 370. This country won’t even look at them”.
He said, “This election is not just to elect MPs but this is an election to form a strong government in the country. When the government is strong, it completes the works by challenging the challenges.” He further said, “I had told you to trust me and I will solve the problems of 60 years. I had guaranteed respect for the mothers and sisters here. I gave a guarantee that the poor would not have to worry about two meals a day. Today lakhs of families of Jammu and Kashmir have the guarantee of free ration for the next 5 years.”
“Modi ki guarantee yani guarantee pura hone ki guarantee. You remember how the weak governments of Congress kept the Shahpurkandi Dam stalled for decades. The fields of the farmers of Jammu were dry and the villages were in darkness, but our water of Ravi was going to Pakistan. Modi had given a guarantee to the farmers and has fulfilled it also,” PM Modi said.
Singh is seeking re-election for the third consecutive time from Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur Lok Sabha seat in the first phase of the elections.
Multi-tier security arrangement
A multi-tier security arrangement was put in place for the safe and secure conduct of the rally. This includes elaborate deployments, area domination, checkpoints and alertness in areas and vigilance on vital installations in the region by various security agencies. The officials said the security personnel had been put on duty along the Jammu-Udhampur highway and vital junctions amid setting up of additional checkpoints to monitor the commuters.
Frisking was intensified at major spots on the highway, they added. Udhampur District Magistrate Saloni Rai a day before PM Modi’s visit issued an order prohibiting the flying of any kind of aviation devices, including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and drones, in the district. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting Udhampur to address a public meeting tomorrow and various necessary arrangements are being undertaken by the administration as per the SOP for the safe and secure conduct of the rally,” Rai said in the order.
“In view of the emerging security threats due to the recent trends of using drones as improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by the anti-national elements, it is imperative to strengthen security measures to maintain law and order,” she added. The district magistrate said the Udhampur senior superintendent of police shall ensure the implementation of this order to prohibit the flying of any kind of aviation devices.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Security, Shamsheer Hussain, also issued an advisory for people to arrive on time for smooth entry before the start of the programme before 10 am. This was Prime Minister Modi’s third visit to Jammu and Kashmir in over one and a half months. He addressed big rallies while inaugurating several development projects on February 20 and March 7 in Jammu and Srinagar cities respectively.
SC deadline for J&K Assembly elections
In December 2023, the Supreme Court while pronouncing decision on Article 370 and 35(A), had directed the Election Commission of India (ECI) to hold polls in Jammu and Kashmir by September 30, 2024. The decision was part of the verdict on pleas challenging the scrapping of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. The top court upheld the government’s decision to scrap Article 370, and said steps should be taken to restore the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir at the earliest.
Polling in the Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency will be held in the first of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections on April 19. Jitendra Singh had retained the Udhampur Lok Sabha seat in 2019, defeating Congress candidate Vikramaditya Singh, the grandson of erstwhile Maharaja Hari Singh, by a margin of 3,53,272 votes. Lal Singh only got 19,049 votes. In 2014, he had defeated former Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad by a margin of 60,976 votes.
PM Modi slams opposition
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his address slammed the Opposition parties over dynasty politics and said that no one has caused as much damage to Jammu and Kashmir as family-run parties adding that such political parties have come to mean “of the family, by the family, for the family.”
PM Modi said, “Modi is guaranteeing the creation of developed Jammu and Kashmir for developed India. But Congress, National Conference and PDP want to take Jammu and Kashmir back to those old days. No one has caused as much damage to Jammu and Kashmir as these family-run parties have. The meaning of these political parties is, of the family, by the family, for the family.”
Recalling his visit to Udhampur in 2014, PM Modi said, “In 2014, I had come back after visiting Mata Vaishno Devi and on this very ground, I had guaranteed you that I will free you from whatever several generations of Jammu and Kashmir have suffered. Today, with your blessings, Modi has fulfilled that guarantee.”
A huge rush of people gathered and raised slogans in support of PM Modi in Udhampur. The enthusiastic turnout underscored the significant support for the Prime Minister and his party in the region.
The Congress has fielded Choudhary Lal Singh from Udhampur. The Congress took Lal Singh back into its fold six years after he was forced to resign following his participation in a rally held in support of the Kathua rape accused, in which a child was raped. The Peoples Democratic Party, partner in the INDIA bloc, has extended their support to Lal Singh.
Udhampur will vote in the first phase on April 19. The BJP had won three out of six seats in Jammu and Kashmir in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The National Conference won the remaining three seats.
Assembly polls, Statehood soon
Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured that the Centre is committed to restoring statehood to Jammu and Kashmir adding that assembly elections will also be held soon.
“The time is not far when assembly elections will be held in Jammu and Kashmir also. Jammu and Kashmir will get back its state status. You will be able to share your dreams with your MLAs, and your ministers,” PM Modi said while addressing a public rally in Udhampur.
The Prime Minister said that whatever he has done so far is only serves as a trailer of the work that he is yet to do in the region.
He pointed out that now after decades the elections were taking place in Jammu and Kashmir without fear of terrorism and cross border firing.
“Vikas bhi ho raha hai, vishvaas bhi badh raha hai” (there is progress and confidence), the Prime Minister held.
The state of Jammu and Kashmir was reorganized into a union territory in October 2019. The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act 2019 was passed in 2019, and Article 370 of the Constitution of India, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, was abrogated.
The central government had in August 2019 abrogated Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated it into two Union Territories (UTs), Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
The upcoming general election, said the Prime Minister is “not just to elect a Member of Parliament but to form a strong government in the country. When the government is strong, it completes by challenging the challenges…”
Underscoring the latest development witness in Jammu and Kashmir, PM Modi said, “Now schools are not burnt here, but schools are decorated. Now AIIMS, IITs and IIMs are being built here. Now modern tunnels, modern wide roads, and wonderful rail journeys are becoming the destiny of Jammu and Kashmir.”
“Be it Jammu or Kashmir, now tourists and devotees have started coming here in record numbers,” PM Modi said.
The Prime Minister said that in the last decade, Jammu and Kashmir have completely changed as roads, electricity, water, travel, and migration, all are available.
“In last 10 years, we have tightened the noose around terrorists and corrupt people. Now in the coming five years, this area has to be taken to new heights of development. Within 10 years, Jammu and Kashmir has completely changed. Roads, electricity, water, travel, migration, all these are there. But the biggest thing is that the mind of Jammu and Kashmir has changed,” he said.
The PM said, “Trust me, I had told you to trust me and I will solve the problems plaguing Jammu and Kashmir for the last 60 years. I had guaranteed respect for the mothers and sisters here. I gave a guarantee that the poor would not have to worry about two meals a day. Today lakhs of families of Jammu and Kashmir have the guarantee of free ration for the next 5 years…”
Dares Congress to restore Art 370
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his speech dared all political parties, mainly Congress, to “announce to restore Article 370 to prove their mettle in the electoral arena, if they’ve courage to do so.”
While addressing an election rally at Modi stadium in Udhampur to seek public support for BJP candidates Dr Jitendra Singh and Jugal Kishore Sharma, he said, “With your (people’s) blessings, Modi not only demolished the wall of Article 370 but even its debris was deep buried under the soil. I challenge every political party (opposed to abrogation of Article 370), mainly Congress to announce to bring back Article 370. You (Congress) do it and the people would never see your face again.”
“For the sake of power, they had created so many misperceptions that there would be devastation all around if it (Article 370) was abrogated and we (India) would lose J&K. But the youth of J&K have shown them the mirror by exposing the hollowness of their claims. As their devious plans failed here in J&K, they are spreading canards in other parts of the country. They are claiming that abrogation of Article 370 did not incur any benefits”.
Earlier, he reiterated that Modi’s guarantee was the guarantee of fulfillment of guarantee. “In 2014, after paying obeisance to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi, I had given you a guarantee to free J&K from terrorism, separatism and other related problems plaguing it for the last 60 years or so. I fulfilled my guarantee. This (2024) will be the first-ever Lok Sabha election wherein terrorism, secessionism, stone-pelting, border-firing etc., are not election issues,” he said.
“Earlier to ensure safe conduct of Shri Mata Vaishnodevi and Shri Amarnath Yatra would be a matter of concern. Now, J&K is witnessing development and trust is also growing. Government has been able to restore the confidence of people. Transformation is visible in every sector. This election is not merely to elect MPs, but to elect a strong government. When the government is strong, it can take a challenge to tackle challenges. Ten years ago, I had asked you to trust me and had given you guarantees. In the last ten years, we have tightened the noose around terrorists and the corrupt. During the next five years, we will further strengthen our gains so that J&K can scale new heights of development. Biggest change in J&K is that the mind of people is changing,” Modi said.
Enlisting what people in J&K got as PM fulfilled his guarantees, the Prime Minister said that he had given guarantees for women’s dignity. “Lakhs of J&K’s poor people are getting free ration; free treatment for Rs 5 lakh; electricity in far-off areas; 75 percent houses have got piped water besides there’s digital connectivity in the majority of J&K. Congress governments lingered on Shahpur Kandi dam project and Ravi water was flowing to Pakistan. We completed this project which would benefit Jammu region’s farmers besides electricity generated would also light up thousands of houses,” he said.
PM Modi while targeting Congress, National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party, stated that their dynastic politics caused irreparable damage to Jammu and Kashmir.
“Their politics fits the definition which means politics of the family, by the family and for the family. Modi is giving guarantees of developed J&K but they are talking to take J&K back to its regressive past. For their selfish interests, they had created the wall of Article 370 which I demolished. Now they are asking about its benefits. If they want to know about its benefits, they should ask women of J&K; Valmikis; Gadda Brahmins; Kolis, Paharis, Paddris and other deprived sections how it benefitted them,” Modi said.