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Opinion

J&K Polls Show Depth Of Our Democracy, Says Prime Minister Modi

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The elections at the Jammu and Kashmir District Development Council were a mirror of those who taught him democracy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday, a day after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said there was no democracy. in the country.

Modi said that while his government completed three-tier panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir in just over a year since the region became Union territory, the dispensation in Puducherry was unable to conduct local body elections to Despite an order from the Supreme Court.

When launching the Ayushman Bharat plan virtually to extend health care benefits to residents of Jammu and Kashmir, Modi said: “There are some people in Delhi who keep cursing, criticizing and insulting me. They want to teach me lessons in democracy. I want to show you a mirror … Look at Jammu and Kashmir, shortly after becoming a Union Territory, they have held the DDC (District Development Council) elections as an example of democracy. But see the irony, on the other hand, despite the order of the Supreme Court in Puducherry, the panchayat and the municipal elections have not happened ”.

“The party of those who teach me democracy is in power in Puducherry,” said the Prime Minister, without naming the Congress, which has governed the UT since 2016. It shows the gap between what some parties preach and what they do, and it also highlights its commitment to democracy, he added.

On Thursday, Gandhi, after meeting with President Ram Nath Kovind and presenting a memorandum signed by 20 million farmers seeking the withdrawal of three contentious farm laws, told reporters that India was now an “imaginary democracy” and that anyone who opposes the prime minister “will be dubbed a terrorist and anti-national.” “Democracy…. What country are you talking about? There is no democracy in India, ”he said.

The seven-party People’s Alliance for the Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have declared victory in the Jammu and Kashmir DDC elections, interpreting differently what the verdict meant in the context of the Center’s decision to scrap the previous state’s special program. been last year. PAGD partners argued that the people rejected the decision to remove Article 370, which gave J&K special status, while the BJP argued that the results showed that voters said no to “terrorism and separatism” and took the path of nationalism.

Referring to the DDC elections, the first major electoral process after the annulment of Article 370 and the bifurcation of the state into two Union territories, the prime minister said that the participation of a large number of people at the polls made him in a moment of pride for the country.

“The people of J&K have voted to strengthen democracy in Jammu and Kashmir. People from all walks of life came out and voted for development in the DDC elections. Jammu and Kashmir has earned Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of the ‘gram swaraj’, ”he said.

He said his government is committed to guaranteeing people’s right to elect their representatives at the local level and that is why it broke the alliance between the BJP and the People’s Democratic Party, which ran a coalition government in the old state.

“There was a time, we were part of the government of Jammu and Kashmir, we had an attached CM; but we broke the alliance. Our problem was that the panchayat elections were held and the people were given the due right to choose their representatives, ”said the prime minister.

He added that the development of the population of Jammu and Kashmir was one of his government’s highest priorities, and in line with that, Ayushman Bharat’s plan will ensure universal health coverage and quality and affordable essential health services for all.

The plan offers free insurance coverage to all residents of UT Jammu and Kashmir, and extends financial coverage of up to ₹ 5 lakh per family on a floating basis to all residents. There is a provision for the operational extension of ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana’ (PM-JAY) to approximately 15 lakh additional families and the benefits of the plan will be transferable to the whole country.

With PTI inputs

Hindustan Times

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