Reaching out to people of Jammu and Kashmir with promise of peace, jobs, investments and prosperity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday expressed the hope that the region will soon come out of the negative impact of Article 370 which has given them only "separatism, terrorism, family rule and corruption".
In his televised address to the nation, he said the measures were a "historic" decision of the country and told the government's detractors to tune their approach in national interest to work collectively for development of the state without looking at who had voted for or against the legislation.
Giving an assurnace of early Assembly polls, he also hinted that the decision to make Jammu and Kashmir a union territory was not permanent
"The decision to keep Jammu and Kashmir under direct Central rule (as a union territory) is now for some time and was taken after a lot of deliberation," he said in the address two days after Parliament approved measures to abrogate Art 370 and bifurcate the state into two union territories.
He said Article 370, which gave special powers to Jammu and Kashmir, was used as a weapon by Pakistan to instigate some people against the country due to which 42,000 innocent people had been killed in three decades.
Modi said people of the state had stood up to the conspiracies of Pakistan to encourage terrorism and separatism and were giving befetting answers to " a handful of people bent on causing disturbance".
"These people having faith in Indian Constitution have a right to good life. We are proud of them. I assure them that the situation will return to normal gradually and their trouble will also keep reducing," Modi said in his televised address.
With people in Kashmir Valley and some others parts of the state facing restrictions, Modi said the government was taking care that people did not face problems in celebrating Eid-ul-Adha on Monday and it was helping those who wanted to return to Kashmir for the festival.
Referring to panchayat elections held earlier this year, the Prime Minister said that the elected representatives were doing an excellent job and those elected after the "fair and transparent" assembly polls to be held soon will have a similar opportunity.
He said a peaceful and prosperous Jammu and Kashmir will also contribute to global peace.
Modi said that with the repeal of Article 370 and consequently of Article 35A the entire country will now have the same laws.
"As a country, as a family, you, I and the entire country have taken a historic decision. A system due to which brothers and sisters of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh were deprived of several rights and which caused impediment in their progress has been removed, Modi said.
He said the dream of Sardar Patel, B. R. Ambedkar, Syama Prasad Mookerjee and Atal Bihari Vajpayee had been fulfilled.
Modi said a notion had been created that the Article 370 could not be repealed and that its ill-consequences were not discussed nor could anyone count any benefits.
"Article 370 and Article 35A have given Jammu and Kashmir separatism, terrorism, family rule and corruption. It was used as a weapon by Pakistan to incite some people against the country. Due to it 42,000 innocent people lost their lives in the last three decades. Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh could not progress at the pace they were entitled to. Now their present will improve and their future will be safe ," Modi said.
He said Article 370 had prevented laws such as Right to Education and for benefits of Dalits, tribals and minorities from being extended to the state.
He said the Centre will give priority to giving the government employees, J-K Police personnel the same benefits as given to employees of other Union Territories.
"There are many such facilities such as LTC, House Rent Allowance, Education Allowance, Health Scheme which most employees do not get," he said.
He said the vacant posts will be filled in both central and local level, recruitment rallies will be held by Army and paramilitary forces and employment opportunities created by the private sector.
( With inputs from ANI )