Modi seeks debate on special status for J&K, hard sells progress
Modi said that Article 370 had prevented the state from deriving the benefit of laws that other states benefited from.
At his first ever rally in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, demanded a debate on Article 370 of the Constitution, (granting special status to Jammu & Kashmir) blaming it for preventing gender equality and progress in the state.
Claiming that Jawaharlal Nehru had said that the special status to the state would gradually be removed, Modi questioned why it was still in place and attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as being responsible.
"You talk about implementing what great people said but if that is the case then Mr Prime Minister why aren't you debating this?" Modi said.
He pointed out that the Centre was making various laws but none of them were applicable to Jammu and Kashmir - a fact that that could be squarely blamed on Article 370 of the Constitution.
Modi pointed out that corruption was rampant in Jammu and Kashmir but the laws to deal with it were absent due to the Article 370.
"They don't want any accountability that's why the law is not being implemented," he said.
He pointed to the absence of laws in the state to ensure that woman were on the same platform as men when it came to rights and questioned why Omar Abdullah had received certain rights that his sister didn't have.
"His sister (Sara) married outside the state and therefore she is ineligible for certain rights," Modi said.
The BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate attacked the administration of the state and said that they constantly kept going to Delhi with a bowl seeking alms.
"They keep acting like the state is a begging state. It is anything but that," Modi said.
We have to remove this stain of 'beggar' on the state and make the state a 'better' one, he said.
He also criticised separatist elements in the state and said that their existence is purely a drain on the state's finances and furthers anti-national elements.
"Separatists have been demanding for a seperate state but their demand should have been for a super state," Modi said.
"These separatists keeping talking about separation but no one apart from 60 families or so have benefited from it," he said.
He also blamed the Indian government for the death of Indian prisoner Sarabjeet Singh in Pakistan.
"In the same jail in which Sarabjeet Singh was killed, another prisoner Chamel Singh had been killed in a similar fashion a week earlier . If the Indian government had acted on this, Sarabjeet wouldn't have been killed," he said.
Taking on the Centre for its China policy, the Gujarat Chief Minister claimed that China had been distributing free SIM cards to villagers along the border with India.
"I want to ask whether our Telecom Ministry can't provide the same," he said. .
He also spoke about the state government's failure to tackle employment and made some suggestions of his own.
Modi's highlighted the fact that China was leading in the industry of herbal medicine despite the fact that the Himalayas were in Kashmir and were an abundant source of herbs.
"The whole world is moving towards herbal medicine and the Himalayas are full of herbs. But is the Centre or the state government doing anything to further it in the state?" he asked.
He said that the state could advance the industry and could cure unemployment in the state with it.
The Gujarat Chief Minister also blamed the state government for preventing to ensure that tourism continued to grow in the state.
"Earlier Bollywood used to come here to shoot all its films but now no one comes here... On the occasion of its 100th anniversary, the government could have organised an event to revive memories and attract filmmakers here again," Modi said.
He also suggested the creation of a film school in the state.
Modi said that Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the first Prime Minister to come to the state in 14 years and the BJP still adhered to what he had said at the time.
"Insaniyat, jamooriyat and Kashmiriyat are the principles he endorsed," Modi said.
He questioned the absence of IITs, IIMs and other universities in the state and said neither the state government nor the Centre had worked towards it.
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