Terrorism on last legs, zero stone pelting; people reaping dividends of Article 370 abrogation: Shah

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SRINAGAR:  Union Home Minister Amit Shah said people in Kashmir are experiencing a new era of peace and development after the abrogation of Article 370.

“A fear was created among the people about Article 370 abrogation. Propaganda was unleashed that after the abrogation of Article 370, Kashmir’s culture, traditions, and language would be finished. It was being said people in thousands would come to settle here. Nothing that sort happened. Kashmir’s art, culture, and language are still vibrant. Nobody has come to stay here. It was being used as a tool to hoodwink people. I want to tell you that the makeup of this country is such that people speak multiple languages and follow their culture. Gujaratis have their own culture, and Marathis have their own. So is in other states. And there has been no Article 370,” Shah said in an interview with Gulistan News.

Shah said people are reaping the benefits of development after the abrogation of Article 370.  “Under the garb of Article 370, a separatist ideology was being furthered. It was misused by Pakistan. Youth were dragged to the path of terrorism. In the last four decades, 40,000 youth were killed in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

Union Home Minister said things have now changed and people are reaping the dividends of peace. “Terrorism is ending. There is zero stone pelting, The tradition of two Darabars (Darbar Move) is over. Anti Corruption Bureau has been formed. People’s money is being spent on them. For the first time, people can watch a movie in a cinema hall during the night. For the first time, a Muharram procession was held. G20 was successfully held in Kashmir. Even a car racing event was held in Srinagar,” he said.

Lambasting Congress, National Conference, and PDP, Shah said the three parties never allowed democracy to flourish in Jammu and Kashmir. “They are family-oriented parties. They believe in dynasties. It is because of them democracy was halted in Jammu and Kashmir.  Let me tell you, people this time will vote out these parties and elect their own representatives,” he said.

Shah said the BJP does not want to politicize the people’s sentiments. “The crowd at PM Modi’s recent rally (at Srinagar) did not come to see him only. They wanted to express gratitude to Modi Ji for new Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

On winning elections from Kashmir, Shah said they are making a place in people’s hearts in the valley. “We will make it gradually. And let me tell you, one day, lotus will bloom in the valley,” he said.