NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the decades-old Jammu and Kashmir problem can’t be solved by bullets and abuses as he called for moving forward by embracing people in the terrorism-hit border State. Addressing the nation on the occasion of the 72nd Independence Day from the ramparts of Red Fort, Modi on Wednesday said that the government is committed to all-round development of Jammu and Kashmir. He said that all assistance would be provided to the people of the State to bring them into the mainstream.
“Our government is committed to all-round development of various parts and all sections of society in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said. “We will move forward in Jammu and Kashmir by embracing people and not by bullet and abuse (Goli and Gaali).”
He said that the path shown by former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee is the ‘right way’ to deal with the Kashmir problem. “Atal Bihari Vajpayee had shown us a way of development of Jammu and Kashmir, the right way, the way we will walk on, the way of Insaaniyat, Jamhuriyat and Kashmiriyat,” he said.
On continuous deferment of Panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir, the PM said that the local bodies elections will be held in the State very soon. He assured that the central government will provide all assistance to the State to conduct the elections in a peaceful manner.
“Efforts are on to hold early polls for local bodies and Panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir to help strengthen democratic institutions there,” he said.
The local bodies polls in the State were deferred recently after the State was placed under the Governor’s rule in June following BJP’s sudden exit from the Mehbooba Mufti government. The elections were originally slated to be held in 2016, but couldn’t be conducted due to unrest in the Valley triggered after the killing of terrorist Burhan Wani.
According report, the government is now exploring the chances to hold Panchayat elections in September-October this year. Governor NN Vohra has already asked the State administration to prepare the ground for the polls.
The previous Panchayat elections in 2011 were held after a gap of four decades. The Panchayat election had seen a total turnout of 80 per cent. This has prompted the government to repeat the exercise as it feels it will help to bridge the gap between government and people in the State.
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