Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing J-K residents via video-conferencing on Saturday. (Photo/ANI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing J-K residents via video-conferencing on Saturday. (Photo/ANI)

PM Modi says DDC elections in J-K have strengthened roots of democracy, written a new chapter

ANI | Updated: Dec 26, 2020 23:56 IST

New Delhi [India], December 26 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that people of Jammu and Kashmir have "strengthened the roots of democracy" in District Development Council elections and the panchayati raj process striking finding fulfilment in the union territory is the start of a "new decade, new chapter and new leadership".
The Prime Minister, who launched Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana SEHAT scheme via video conferencing, said the government worked to strengthen grassroots democracy in the last few years.
"The election of the District Development Council has written a new chapter. In every phase of the elections, despite such cold conditions and COVID-19, youth, elderly, women were reaching the booths," he said.
PM Modi said there was an expectation for development on the face of every voter in Jammu and Kashmir.
"On the face of every voter in Jammu and Kashmir, I saw an expectation for development. In the eyes of every voter in Jammu and Kashmir, I saw the belief of a better future, leaving behind the past. These elections in Jammu and Kashmir also showed the strength of democracy in our country," he said.
"The people of Jammu and Kashmir have strengthened the roots of democracy in DDC elections. The three-tier panchayati raj institution structure in Jammu and Kashmir is in a way fulfilment of the dream of Mahatma Gandhi. The panchayati raj process in the country has found fulfilment in Jammu and Kashmir today. This is beginning of a new decade, new chapter and new leadership," he added.
The results of DDC elections were declared earlier this week.
The Prime Minister also made a veiled attack on Congress and pointed out that despite the Supreme Court's order, panchayat and municipal elections are not happening in Puducherry. "This despite the fact that the tenure of those who were elected ended in 2011," he said.
He said the government has worked day and night to strengthen democratic institutions.
"In the last few years, we worked to strengthen grassroots democracy in Jammu and Kashmir. You are aware that there was a time, we were a part of the Jammu and Kashmir government but we broke the alliance. Our issue was that panchayat elections should be held and people be given their due rights to choose their representatives," he said.
Talking about the Jammu and Kashmir Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY SEHAT scheme, the Prime Minister said getting free treatment up to 5 lakh rupees under this scheme would improve the ease of living.
"Right now about 6 lakh families of the state are getting the benefit of Ayushman Bharat Scheme. All 21 lakh families will get the same benefit after the SEHAT scheme. Another benefit of this scheme would be that treatment is not limited to government and private hospitals in Jammu and Kashmir only. Rather, treatment can be availed from thousands of hospitals empanelled under this scheme in the country," he said.
In his remarks, Home Minister Amit Shah said that Prime Minister Modi lays special emphasis on three things for Jammu and Kashmir - development, to bring democracy to the grassroots level and that development can be achieved only through security and peace.
He said Jammu and Kashmir has seen rapid development since the August 5 last year, when Article 370 was abrogated.
In his remarks, Jammu and Kashmir Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha said three-tier grassroots democracy was established in Jammu and Kashmir with DDC elections.
"I thank the people here for their participation in the elections. The elected DDC members will take oath on December 28," he added. (ANI)