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‘New journey of development for Jammu and Kashmir’: PM Modi refers to Article 370 abrogation in Independence Day speech

PM Modi said that elections in Jammu and Kashmir will be held once the delimitation exercise is over.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that the past year has been a year of a new development journey for Jammu and Kashmir as he referred to the abrogation of Article 370. Addressing the nation on the occasion of 74th Independence Day from the ramparts of Red Fort, PM Modi said that ‘vikas’ (development) has reached every village in Jammu and Kashmir in the past one year.

He said that the delimitation exercise is currently underway in Jammu and Kashmir and that the government is committed to hold assembly elections in the newly formed Union Territory once the delimitation exercise is over.

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“This one year is a year of the new journey of development for Jammu and Kashmir. This one year is the year of the rights received by the women and the Dalits in Jammu and Kashmir. This one year is also the year of a life of dignity for the refugees in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

“Delimitation exercise is being carried out in Jammu and Kashmir, the country is committed for completion of this work so that elections are held and people’s representatives are elected there,” Modi added.

The Modi government had on August 5 last year scrapped the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated it into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir division (with Legislative Assembly); and Ladakh division. However, elections in Jammu and Kashmir are yet to take place.

On Ladakh, the PM said that “just as Sikkim has made its mark as an organic state, efforts are being made to make Ladakh a carbon neutral region”.

Without naming Pakistan and China, the Prime Minister said that Indian forces are giving fitting replies to misadventures at the LoC and the LAC.

“From LoC to LAC, whoever has tried to raise their eyes towards the sovereignty of our country, our soldiers have responded to it in the same language,” he said.

He said that today’s neighbour is not just the one with whom “we share borders but also those with whom our heart stays connected, where there is harmony in relations”.

“I am happy that in the past some time India has further strengthened its relations with all countries in its extended neighbourhood,” he said.

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