SRINAGAR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday urged voters to elect a BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir and to end "family rule" and endemic corruption in the country's only Muslim-majority state.
Addressing two rallies ahead of the third round of assembly elections, Modi also said that the massive turnout in the first two phases of polling had proved that Jammu and Kashmir had rejected violence.
With the Bharatiya Janata Party determined to play a key role for the first time in any Kashmir election, Modi harped on voter disgust with all the major political players in the troubled state.
At his second rally in the heart of Srinagar, Modi said: "You have seen governments by the Congress, by father and son (National Conference) and by father and daughter (PDP). Get rid of this family rule and corruption. Give us an opportunity to end corruption in Kashmir."
Modi's remarks at the 8,000-strong rally appeared to kill the chances of a possible post-election tie-up by the BJP with any of the major Kashmiri parties.
Wearing a 'pheran', the traditional Kashmiri garment, Modi said he had come to Kashmir to share the grief of the people who have been hit hard by years and years of militancy.
"I came here in July, in August, in September, in October, in November and now in December.
"I came in 2014 and will come in 2015 to fulfill the dream of insaaniyat, jamhooriat and Kashmiriyat as seen by Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji," he added in his tribute to the now ailing former prime minister.
"Army soldiers and state policemen have laid down their lives fighting terrorism in Kashmir. But people here too have died and suffered. I have come to share that grief with you today," Modi told the rally held amid security provided by thousands of police and paramilitary forces.
Modi said Jammu and Kashmir needed economic development and prosperity. "This is a right nobody can deny you."
The world's fastest growing industry, he said, was tourism. "And India does not have a place better than Kashmir to show to the world."
Earlier, addressing about 50,000 people in Samba in Jammu region, Modi said the people of the state had rejected violence by turning out in large numbers in the first two rounds of the ongoing assembly polls.
Compared to the number of fingers which have operated AK-47 rifles in Kashmir, more people had pressed the electronic voting machines in the two rounds of assembly elections, he said.
"I salute the people of Jammu and Kashmir a thousand times for their unflinching faith in democracy," Modi said, a day before 16 constituencies vote in the Kashmir Valley.
Modi blamed poor governance and nepotism by the Congress, the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party for the problems of the state.
"Did all of them do anything for you in the past? Would they do it in the future? You have tried them and they have failed you," he thundered.
The prime minister promised a better life for the 12 lakh Hindus who moved into Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistan after the 1947 partition.
"I promise that we will rehabilitate these refugees, and rehabilitation is their right which they will get," he said.
Monday's rallies took place three days after 21 people, including eight soldiers and three policemen, were killed in a string of terror attacks in Kashmir.
In Srinagar, Modi blamed the state government for doing little during the devastating floods this year.
He also claimed credit for the punishment meted out to nine soldiers accused of killing two youths in Budgam district. They face court martial.
"I appeal to you to give a decisive mandate for a BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir," said Modi.
The five-phase assembly elections that began Nov 25 end Dec 20. The vote count is due Dec 23.