Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah asked the Omar Abdullah-led Jammu and Kashmir government to give an account of Rs 1,700 crore central package meant for flood relief, as he alleged that money provided by the Centre for the development of the state does not reach the people.
“The worst floods in a century caused massive devastation here. Centre gave Rs 1,700 crores. I want to ask the state government…Omar Abdullah should answer the people of Jammu and Kashmir as to where did that money go. Why did it not reach (flood-affected)?” Shah said.
Addressing his maiden election rally in Srinagar in support of party candidate Hina Bhat, who is contesting from Amira Kadal constituency, Shah said the money provided by the Centre for the development of the state does not reach the people.
“Every year, around Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 crores is sent to Jammu and Kashmir for its development. Why aren’t there any facilities? There are hospital buildings, but no doctors or medicines. This kind of arrangement will not work in today’s times.
“If you want Jammu and Kashmir to move forward in the 21st century, then the state needs to come out of the traditional politics. For once, Jammu and Kashmir should associate with development, for once the people should associate with BJP and with Narendra Modi… You should trust Modi,” he said.
Shah said the BJP-led central government under Modi would provide all possible help in the future as well.
“Developing Jammu and Kashmir is the duty of the Central government, irrespective of which party is in power.
“It is the duty of the Centre to help the people of Jammu and Kashmir hit by the floods. But you tell me, if such governments remain, will the help provided by the Centre reach you?” he said.
The BJP president asked the people to support his party to take the state to new heights of development.
“If you want peace, development and tourists, then ‘lotus’ (BJP symbol) should bloom in your hearts. If you press lotus, then only will development happen,” he said.
Shah said Prime Minister Narendra Modi wanted to make Jammu and Kashmir the number one state in the country in terms of development.
“Modi wants to make Jammu and Kashmir the number one state in terms of development and for that you have to make his hands strong.
“For that to happen, such a government will have to be made in the state which believes in development and not in division. A government which will make sure that the money coming from the Centre reaches people, especially in the Valley,” Shah said here.
He said the Prime Minister has many programmes for the development of the state and people need to give the BJP an opportunity to take the state forward.
“Modi has many programmes for Kashmir. Many blueprints have been made but they can only be implemented by the state government. Give us a chance for six years and BJP will take the state forward. The people of JK have given opportunity to all, give BJP an opportunity too. I want to assure you that you will find BJP your own every time,” he said.
Shah said the state lagged behind in terms of development because the parties like NC, PDP and Congress played with the emotions of the people for the last six decades.
“I am here to tell the people of Srinagar and Kashmir Valley that many states in the country have moved ahead, but Jammu and Kashmir lagged behind. There are many states in the country where electricity is supplied to every house for 24 hours, where if a mother or a father falls ill, a phone number has to be dialled an ambulance, with all facilities, reaches within 10 minutes.
“There are many states where there are big programmes for the employment of youth. There are many states which are beautiful like Kashmir and brimming with tourist activities. I want to ask you that have those, who ruled Jammu and Kashmir for 60 years, been able to give any facility to you?” he asked.
“Is there round the clock electricity in your house? Is clean water supplied to your houses? Are your villages connected through roads? Had they governed well for the last 60 years, then (even) people from Switzerland would have come to visit Jammu and Kashmir. Only domestic tourists come here and foreign tourists do not visit the place,” he said.
Shah said the people of Kashmir gave their love to these parties for all their life, but got nothing in return.
“I want to ask you, does Kashmir Valley want to join the journey for development or not? Whether father-son or father-daughter, and Congress as well, which either goes with the father-son or the father-daughter, have done anything for Kashmir.
“These people played with your emotions for the last 60 years and kept you away from development. For the 60 years, these three parties emotionally blackmailed you and kept you away from development,” he alleged.