Update November 7, 2015

Dhaka 6-25 am, 22-September, 2020

PM Modi announces Rs 80,000cr package for J-K, says it’s the beginning

Sumel Sarker

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PM Modi announces Rs 80,000cr package for J-K, says it’s the beginning

07 November 2015, Nirapad News: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced a special package of Rs 80,000 crore for Jammu and Kashmir and said that the government’s treasury is for the people.

“I want to tell the youth that this Rs 80,000 crore package should be used to change your destiny, should empower you and build a new Kashmir, a modern Kashmir. With this dream I have come to you and let me tell you this is not the end, it is just a beginning,” said the PM after announcing the special package.

He said that in the past, when people had some money, they wanted to visit Kashmir. He added that he wanted to bring those days back.

Highlights of PM’s speech in Srinagar:

# No matter how much the world advances, without humanity we are nowhere.

# Besides highways we are also dreaming of I-ways. Optical fibre, mobile internet all of this should be the best in class here.

# If we can develop this, the youth will find employment right here.

# Kashmir has suffered a lot, two generations of youth have seen their dreams being crushed.

# People of Kashmir are eager for development.

# I have seen in my life no matter how big the challenges, they can be overcome.

# I need to bring back those days when every family used to save up to visit Kashmir on their vacations.

# I need to bring back those days when India used to look forward to come and visit Kashmir.

# If any one corner of India is neglected, my dream cannot come true.

# It’s this sanskar (culture) that inspires me and gives me strength to care for you.

# My mother used to give me Rs 5 or Rs 11 on my birthday. Last year she gave me Rs 5000 for flood-affected people of Kashmir.

# But I said when my friends in Kashmir are struck by floods, I can’t celebrate.

# When Diwali came, it would have been easy for me to celebrate with my friends in Delhi, but I decided to come here, be with people.

# It is this love that brought over here during the floods here last year.

# I have got the privilege to visit Jammu and Kashmir so often. This land draws me here.

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed had earlier said Modi’s rally was a “turning point in history of the state” while recalling former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s address to the people at the same venue in 2003.

Ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) workers, migrant labourers and casual employees of state government appeared to form the bulk of the audience for the rally.

A significant number of labourers, hailing from Bihar, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, were seen in Sher-e-Kashmir Stadium at Sonawar among the audience for the PM’s rally.

“I have been brought here forcibly from my rented room in Rambagh (area of the city),” Manoj Kumar, a labourer from Bihar, said.

He said it has caused him a loss of Rs 400 which he would have earned at work.

Rakesh Kumar, a carpenter from Gorakhpur area, said he was brought to the venue of the rally while he was heading to work in Sanat Nagar locality of the city.

As the presence of migrant labourers drew attention of media, PDP workers shoved them to the back rows in the stadium.

The PDP workers indulged in intense sloganeering hailing Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and party president Mehbooba Mufti.

Vehicle coming from Verinag area of south Kashmir towards the rally venue, turned turtle at Bijbehara causing injuries to five persons, police said.

They also said some vehicles carrying people to the rally came under stone-pelting at Narbal on Srinagar-Baramulla highway.

The PDP MLAs who have brought the workers to the rally included Syed Altaf Bukhari, Abdul Haq Khan, Mohammad Abbas Wani and Imran Reza Ansari.

Among the audience in the rally were Special Police Officers (SPOs) of state police, daily-wage workers and Anganwadi workers.

This is the Prime Minister’s second Diwali-time visit since he came to power and first since the PDP-BJP government was formed in the state. Modi spent last diwali in Kashmir as a gesture of empathy for the victims of a flood that devastated the state in 2014.

Mobile internet was disrupted through the morning, although broadband services were working fine.

Curfew-like conditions have been imposed since Friday in many parts of the city, citing security concerns, particularly in downtown areas known to be strongholds of separatists leaders who have called for protests against Modi. Several front-line separatists have been put under the house arrest or taken into preventive custody.

Controversial MLA Engineer Abdul Rashid was also detained on Saturday morning for waving black flags ahead of Modi’s rally.

People’s Democratic Party-BJP alliance had mobilised crowds for Modi’s rally, his first in Kashmir. Each MLA of both parties had been tasked to bring at least 200 supporters for the gathering.

During his day-long trip, Modi will also inaugurate the 450 MW Baglihar hydroelectric project on the Chenab, in Ramban district.

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