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New Delhi: As India ushered in its first Independence Day under the second term of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the new order of One Nation One Constitution, following the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and the scrapping of special status under Article 370, last week.
“Today I can say with pride that every Indian can say we are one nation, one constitution. And this one dream of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel has been realised," Modi said, following the paradigm shift in Jammu and Kashmir, last week.
Speaking at the Red Fort, PM Modi said that in less than 10 weeks alone, the Centre had taken several important decisions across all areas, wherein the focus has been to fulfill the common people’s aspirations without any delay “with full commitment from us."
“These decisions are life changing. Similarly, Article 370 and 35A were reasons. This is our identity. We don’t dodge or nurture problems. This was the work that was not done in the last 70 years. After the formation of the new government, within 70 days the two houses of Parliament voted with two-thirds majority to remove them. This means that people had thought about this but they were waiting for someone who would step forward to remove it. I came forward to do the work you entrusted me with," PM Modi said.
PM Modi added that for 70 years, everyone had made efforts in Jammu and Kashmir but the desired results were not achieved.
“The aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh need to be fulfilled and that is our responsibility. So we have taken on the task to remove their problems. Separatism has given wings to terrorism and corruption and solidified the problems there. So now the women, Dalits, tribals in India who get the same rights should be extended to the people of Jammu and Kashmir whether it is Gujjars or Bakarwals – should also get political opportunities," PM Modi added.
Speaking on the 73rd Independence Day, the Prime Minister said that while India had been partitioned, the people who settled in Jammu and Kashmir did not get basic rights.
“J&K and Ladakh can be beacons of peace and development for India and we should try to restore their lost glory and this new arrangement should work for their betterment. Now any ordinary citizen there can reach out directly to the Centre," he said.
Taking a dig at the Opposition, Modi also added that even though political parties had been giving their assent to removing Article 370, 35A, parties had weighed it through the prism of political gains.
“The country asks them – if Article 370 or 35A were so necessary, then despite such a majority for 70 years why didn’t you make it permanent? Why did you leave it as temporary? This means that even you know that what happened was not right, but you did not have the courage to rectify it or the political will to do it. For me the future of the country is everything, not merely its political future," Modi stated.