‘Delimitation process on in Jammu and Kashmir, polls soon’: PM Modi in Independence Day speech
A little over a year after the reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir into union territories and the reading down of Article 370 and Article 35A, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday referred to it as a year of “a new development journey in Jammu and Kashmir.”
“...this is a year of rights for women, it is also a year of dignified life of refugees in Jammu and Kashmir,” the PM said in his Independence Day speech on Saturday.
In August 2019, Parliament passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill that paved the way for the bifurcation of the state into two union territories; read down Article 370 that gave the state special powers and nullified Article 35A that defined citizenship rights that were essential for jobs and education. Article 35A also barred women married to non-state subject holders from passing on their inheritance to their children and was considered as discriminatory.
Referring to the revival as a political process in Jammu and Kashmir, which has been without an elected government since 2018 when the BJP-PDP coalition government fell, the prime minister said that the process of delimitation is on; and when it is over there should be elections.
“Delimitation process is underway in Jammu and Kashmir. Once it is completed, an election will be held in the Union Territory. Jammu and Kashmir will have its own chief minister and ministers. We are committed to this,” the PM said. “The true strength of democracy is in local units. It is a matter of pride for all of us that the public representatives of local units in Jammu and Kashmir are pursuing a new era of development with activism and sensitivity,” he said.
Ladakh’s long-pending demand to be granted the status of a union territory has also been met, PM Modi said.
“Ladakh is on the path to progress, a new central university is coming up an 7500 MW solar park is coming up and just as Sikkim has become an organic state, Ladakh should aim for that as well. Leh, Kargil and Ladkah can become carbon neutral regions,” he said.
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