Modi made it possible for Opposition to hold election rallies in Kashmir: Dr Jitendra Singh

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NEW DELHI: In a scathing rebuttal to the opposition parties including Congress, National Conference and PDP who claim that nothing has changed in Jammu & Kashmir and question Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government as to what have they achieved post-370, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said, it is Prime Minister Narendra Modi who made it possible for the Opposition parties to hold election rallies in the Kashmir valley, which was something unimaginable till a few years ago. It is the Modi led government which has created  conditions conducive enough  for the opposition parties to take the liberty of indulging in free and fearless campaigning in the Valley, he said.

Taking a dig at the recent comments by the leaders of National Conference (NC) and PDP, Dr Jitendra Singh during an exclusive conversation at “Super Indians Conclave 2024”   organised by “Bharat 24” said, he always refrains from making any personal comment but said, it would suffice to say that the leaders of these political parties are today seen holding public rallies and road shows as a part of their election campaign in the Kashmir Valley which presents the same scene as anywhere else in the country.  He said, the NC and PDP leaders should honestly ask themselves why they could not hold such public rallies and road shows during any election campaign in the past when they were themselves in power in the State and also at the centre as a part of the UPA.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, the matter of fact is that for the last several decades even the National Conference and PDP leaders were coming out for each of the election campaigns surrounded by a huge security cover around them.  They were afraid of the terror atmosphere around them and had hardly ever dared to hold an open public rally or road show during the election campaign.  The result of this was that they would get elected as MLAs and MPs after a heavily guarded limited campaign and a dismal voter turnout, he added.

The biggest transformation seen in the first General Elections post-370 in Jammu & Kashmir, said Dr Jitendra Singh, is that on the one hand while there is nearly 60 percent voter turnout, on the other hand the National Conference and PDP leaders are going out freely campaigning and openly addressing the masses like in any other part of the country.

Responding to the charge made by some PDP and NC leaders that the BJP may try to influence the voters in Kashmir Valley constituencies, he said, on the contrary it is the Modi government which has created such an open free atmosphere where the National Conference and PDP leaders are freely going around making such unsubstantiated accusations against BJP even though they avoid uttering a single word of condemnation against the perpetrators of terror.

When asked about a statement made by Omar Abdullah asking BJP as to why the Party did not field its candidates in the Kashmir valley constituencies, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the decisions by the BJP leadership are taken with consensus, diligence and above all, keeping national interest in mind and the benchmark for us is “Nation First”.  He said, the BJP leadership is not bound to take decisions based on what is proposed or advised by National Conference and PDP leaders because for us politics is a means of serving the nation’s interest and not using the party decisions to promote dynasties.

Dr Jitendra Singh  said,  the biggest testament of the return of normalcy and peace is the unusual tourist flow in Kashmir Valley whose number was nearly 2.5 crore last year and even this season not only the Valley is packed with tourists from within and outside the country but even the film shooting has resumed in a big way, one such striking evidence of which is the current shooting going on in Srinagar city with leading Bollywood stars Ajay Devgan and Jackie Shroff, he said.

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