Jammu & Kashmir freed of elements that retarded state's progress: PM

The abrogation of Article 370 status for Jammu and Kashmir will effectively lift the hurdles in the development of the state and ward off terrorists and opportunist politicians that lived in its shadow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in an address to the people of J&K.

As a country and as a family, you and us, together we took a historic decision. A system which denied due rights to our brothers and sisters of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh; a system which was huge hurdle in their development has now been eradicated, the prime minister said.
He said a dream that Sardar Vallabh bhai Patel, Babasaheb Ambedkar, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Atalji and millions of citizens has now been fulfilled.
A new age has begun in Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh. Now the rights and accountabilities of all the citizens of the country are similar. I congratulate the people Jammu-Kashmir, Ladakh and each and every citizen of the country, he said.
Sometimes certain things of the social life get so entangled with time that they are considered to be permanent. A sentiment of complacency develops and it is thought that nothing is ever going to change. A similar sentiment prevailed for Article 370. Because of this there was no debate or talk about the damage done to our brothers and sisters, our children in Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh. Astonishingly, nobody was able to list the benefits that Article 370 delivered to the people of Jammu-Kashmir.
Article 370 and 35A, he said, have given nothing but secessionism, terrorism, nepotism and widespread corruption on a large scale to Jammu-Kashmir. Both these articles were used as a weapon by Pakistan to flare up the emotions of some people. Due to this about 42,000 people lost their lives in the last three decades. The development in Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh could not be done on levels which the region deserved. After the removal of this flaw from the system, the people of Jammu-Kashmir will not only have a better present but also a bright future ahead.
While Parliament has enacted several laws for the benefit of the people, one particular law was used to deny the people of Jammu and Kashmir what was due to them. It’s unfathomable that so many laws are enacted in the Parliament but are not implemented in a particular region of the country, he said, adding that even previous governments that were hailed after enacting a law couldn’t claim that the same law would be implemented in the Jammu and Kashmir region.
More than 15 million people of Jammu and Kashmir were deprived of the benefits of laws that were enacted for the benefit of the people of India. Imagine children in rest of the country have a right to education while children in Jammu and Kashmir were deprived of this right. The daughters of Jammu and Kashmir were deprived of the right that our daughters had in rest of the states. In all the other states, Safai Karamchari Act was enacted for hygiene workers but the workers of Jammu and Kashmir were deprived of this. In other states, strict laws were enacted to stop atrocities on Dalits but no such laws could be implemented in Jammu and Kashmir. To protect the rights of blue-collar workforce, Minimum Wages Act was enacted and implemented in all the other states while such a law is only found on papers in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. In all other states, (our) brothers and sisters from Scheduled Tribes got reservation while contesting elections, but such a thing is unheard of in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
He said the new dispensation would bring state government employees and Jammu and Kashmir police personnel on par with the state government employees and police personnel of other states in terms of facilities. In union territories, the government provides many such financial facilities like LTC, house rent allowance, education allowance for children, health schemes etc, most of which are not provided to the employees of Jammu and Kashmir government. Such facilities would soon be provided to the employees of Jammu and Kashmir government and state police personnel following a review.
He said the government will soon initiate the process to fill the vacancies of central and state government in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. This would provide adequate employment opportunities to the local youth. Besides, public sector units of the central government and big private sector companies would also be encouraged to provide new employment opportunities. Apart from the above, Army and paramilitary forces would organize rallies to recruit local youths. The government would also expand Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme so that more and more students can get its benefit. Jammu and Kashmir also suffers huge revenue loss. The central government will ensure to minimize its impact.
He said the state has gained from being under governor’s rule as the administration of Jammu and Kashmir has been directly under the central government. This has helped bring in development and schemes, which earlier remained only in files, got implemented. Projects pending from decades have been speeded up. “We have tried to bring transparency and a new work culture in the Jammu and Kashmir administration. As a result, be it IIT, IIM, AIIMS, various irrigation projects or power projects or the Anti-Corruption Bureau, we have been able to expedite the work on these projects. Besides, be it the projects of connectivity, roads or new rail lines, modernisation of the airport, everything is being accelerated, the prime minister pointed out. 
Yet, he said, democracy and representative government in the state will continue as before. “Your political representative will be elected by you. He will be one of you. The MLAs would be elected just as they used to be elected earlier. The forthcoming cabinet would just be as it used to be earlier. The chief ministers would just be as they were before.”
But, he said, under the new system, we would collectively be able to keep the state of Jammu and Kashmir free from terrorism and secessionism. When our Jammu and Kashmir- the paradise on earth, after achieving new heights of development, attract the whole world, and when there will be greater Ease of Living in the lives of citizens; when they would ceaselessly get their rights, when all the tools of governance would speed up the work in favor of the masses, then I don’t think there would be any need to continue with the system under the union government, yes it would continue in Ladakh though.
The prime minister assured the people of Jammu and Kashmir that they would soon get the opportunity to elect their representatives in a fully honest and transparent atmosphere. 
He appealed to the youth of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh to take over command of development of their area in their own hands.
He appealed to those associated with the technology world, administration or private sector to give priority in their policies and their decisions as to how to disseminate technology in Jammu and Kashmir. When digital communication will be strengthened there and BPO Centres, Common Service Centres will increase in numbers, there will be enhanced opportunity of earning livelihood and the life of our brothers and sisters of Jammu and Kashmir will become easier, he said.