SRINAGAR: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said that the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir will be restored after the delimitation of constituencies and assembly elections.
Shah, who is on a three-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, was interacting with members of Jammu and Kashmir's youth clubs on Saturday.
"Why should the delimitation be stopped? It is because that will harm political interests. Now nothing will stop in Kashmir. Delimitation will happen, followed by elections and then restoration of statehood so that the youth of Kashmir get opportunities. I had said that in the parliament also. And, this is the roadmap. I came here to make friends with the Kashmiri youth," Shah said.
He said no one can obstruct development in Jammu and Kashmir and asserted that strict action will be taken against those who want to disrupt the peace and harmony in the union territory.
"Kashmir has seen a new beginning -- from fear, terrorism, corruption, and family-based politics to peace, development, and prosperity. The youth of Jammu and Kashmir have strengthened this change. Terrorism has reduced, stone-pelting has become invisible...I want to assure you that strict action will be taken against those who want to disrupt the peace and harmony of Jammu and Kashmir. No one can obstruct development here. It is our commitment," Shah said.
The minister said that "transparency and corruption-free governance" Jammu-Kashmir has witnessed since 2019 is the pillar of the region's development. "Would it be possible without abrogating Article 370? Our projects for Jammu and Kashmir are multidimensional. It promotes education and skill development, as well as economic assistance. We've also promoted sports and tourism," he said.
The government had abrogated Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019. It had also bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories. Shah said the government in Jammu and Kashmir has decided to form a youth club in every panchayat and Rs 25,000 will be provided to every such club. Sports programmes have also been started.
Slamming the earlier regimes in the erstwhile state, Shah said, "What did the previous governments give to Jammu and Kashmir in 70 years? 87 MLAs, 6 MPs and 3 families...Prime Minister Narendra Modiji has made it possible that about 30,000 elected representatives in the Panchayat elections, who are serving the people today. Post-independence, the Government of India helped Jammu and Kashmir, but the poverty, unemployment did not go away, infrastructure did not develop. Now poverty is going from here, people are getting employment opportunities."
Earlier in the day, Shah held a security review meeting in Srinagar. Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha was present in the review meeting. This is Shah's maiden visit to the union territory since the abrogation of Article 370.