PM Modi's Kashmir Visit: Political speeches, economic pledges, disappointed opposition

SRINAGAR — Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Srinagar stirred a flurry of political rhetoric, economic pledges, and expressions of discontent from opposition parties, highlighting the complex dynamics at play in the region.

In a mega rally at Bakshi Stadium, PM Modi touted the abolition of Article 370 as a catalyst for Jammu and Kashmir’s progress, asserting that the region is now “breathing freely” without the former legal constraint.

He declared, “This is the new Jammu and Kashmir for which Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee sacrificed his life,” underscoring the significance of the governmental action. Amid accusations against the Congress for perpetuating dynastic politics and impeding development, Modi emphasized equal rights and opportunities for all.

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However, the opposition didn’t mince words in criticizing Modi’s address. Jammu and Kashmir National Conference General Secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar lamented the absence of substantial announcements, including the restoration of statehood and solutions for unemployment. Sagar accused the Prime Minister of rehashing old promises and exploiting young entrepreneurs for political gains.

Echoing similar sentiments, the Congress criticized Modi for sidestepping crucial issues such as the restoration of democracy and job creation, accusing him of delivering a pre-election rally aimed at discrediting opposition parties.

Amidst the political theatre, PM Modi engaged with young entrepreneurs, symbolizing the complexities of governance in the region. Entrepreneurs like Nazim Nazir from Pulwama showcased their success stories, attributing their achievements to government support post-Article 370 abrogation. Modi lauded their efforts and encouraged further innovation, reflecting on the transformative potential of grassroots initiatives.

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In his speech, Modi hailed Jammu and Kashmir’s progress in tourism and economic sectors, announcing initiatives worth billions aimed at bolstering the region’s agri-economy. He extended Ramadan greetings and emphasized the region’s importance as a tourist hub.

Security measures were heightened during Modi’s visit, underscoring the delicate security situation in the region. Despite the anticipation surrounding the Prime Minister’s speech, traffic remained largely unaffected, with stringent security arrangements in place.

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