LoC shelling always a concern, forces given a free hand to reply: PM Modi

Srinagar, Dec 26: Holding previous regimes responsible for ignoring border areas and its residents in Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday said that shelling from across the LoC has always been a concern and the security forces have been given “a free hand to reply to the enemy.”

The Prime Minister also congratulated J&K LG Manoj Sinha led administration and the security forces for conducting DDC polls in a smooth and fair manner, stating that “he had no words to express gratitude for the peaceful conduct of polls.”

Addressing the twin gatherings in Srinagar and Jammu on the e-inauguration of Ayushman Bharat-Sehat scheme for J&K people, PM Modi said that the previous regimes that rule India for years, ignored the border areas and its people.

“This is true about J&K and north east,” he said. Modi said that under the slogan of “sab ka saath, sab ka vikas”, the construction of underground bunkers are in full swing in border areas of J&K to protect its people in times of shelling.

“Shelling has always been a concern for us. We have taken a series of steps to protect the border residents and to ensure development of border areas. Security forces have been given a free hand (to reply) during shelling,” the Prime Minister said.

After e-inaugurating the Ayushman-Bharat, the Prime Minister spoke of the two beneficiaries of the same—one each from Srinagar and Jammu, stating that it gives him immense pleasure and highest level of satisfaction to the feedback directly from the beneficiaries’ of the schemes.

“This is a real blessing for me. This scheme has played a big role in changing the lives of the poor. Benefit of this scheme should reach to every single citizen of J&K,” the Prime Minister said. “Today is a historic day for the people of J&K as Ayushman Bharat-Sehat scheme will change the lives of people who crave for quality treatment.”

He said that he was supposed to e-inaugurate the scheme on the eve of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s anniversary, but due to his engagements he couldn’t. “Atalji had a unique bond with Kashmir. He would always talk of Kashmiryat, Jhamooriyat and Insaniyat and today we are following the mantra,” he said.

The Prime Minister said that J&K people have written a new chapter in India’s democracy by participating in huge numbers in the DDC polls. “I was observing how people including elderly women, and youth were in long queues outside polling booths amid Covid and cold,” he said, adding that “every voter was wearing a smile on his face with a hope for better tomorrow.”

The Prime Minister said that people of J&K have strengthened the roots of democracy through DDC polls. “I congratulate the J&K LG led administration and security. They have done a big job. I don’t have words to felicitate them but I must tell them that you have made the entire India feel proud,” he said.

He said that with the completion of DDC polls, J&K sees three-tier panchayat raj system which also tantamount to fulfilling of “Mahatma Gandhi’s Gram Sawrajya dream.”

“In previous years, we worked hard day in and out to strengthen democracy,” he said. The Prime Minister said: “We opted out from the J&K government even though we had deputy chief minister and ministers. The only reason was we wanted panchayat elections to be held in J&K.

He said that the elected people belong to the grassroots and have suffered equally like people. “The newly elected DDC representatives will work for the people in villages and districts,” Modi said.

Modi said under his leadership, J&K is on the path of development as the UT has got additional 3000 MWs of power supply. “Srinagar and Jammu will see metro in two years from now,” he said, adding that newly medical colleges, hospitals, colleges, schools will come up in the UT on fast track basis and J&K will touch new heights on development, peace and prosperity in the times ahead.
Meanwhile, the e-inauguration of Ayushman Bharat-Sehat scheme was held at SKICC in Srinagar where top officials from the administration participated in the event—(KNO)

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