Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday addressed the nation at 8 PM. The focus of his speech was the abrogation of Article 370 as he sought to reassure the people of Kashmir about their apprehensions on the government’s decisions.
The news of Modi choosing to address at 8 PM on the 8th day of a month evoked plenty of reactions with many drawing a quick parallel with his last address to the nation to make an announcement on the note ban. That was also at 8 PM on the 8th day of November in 2016.
Earlier reports said that the prime minister was scheduled to address the nation at 4 PM on Thursday. However, later the time was revised to 8 PM. The government-owned broadcaster All India Radio later deleted its tweet about the address of PM Narendra Modi.
The government on Monday had announced doing away with Article 370 on Jammu and Kashmir. Home Minister Amit Shah also presented a Bill to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories. While Jammu and Kashmir is a new union territory with an assembly, Ladakh has been carved out of the state as a separate union territory without a legislature.
The valley has been in lockdown ever since the government announced its dramatic measures on Jammu and Kashmir. Two former chief ministers, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, have been kept under arrest, while another former chief minister and the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, was stopped at the Srinagar airport on Thursday. He was later sent back to Delhi.
Highlights of PM Modi’s address to the nation will appear below:
- PM Modi says that decision to change Jammu and Kashmir into a union territory is temporary
- Nothing changes. MLAs, MPs and Chief Ministers will continue to get elected from amongst you.
- PM Modi promises to set up, AIIMS, IIMs, Anti-Corruption bodies in Jammu and Kashmir
- Dreams of Sardar Patel, Baba Sahab Ambedkar, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee and Atal Bihari Vajpayee are fulfilled now
- We as a nation, as a family, have taken a historic decision. A system due to which brothers and sisters of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh were deprived of many rights and which was a big obstacle to their development. That system has been done away with.
- Now onwards, the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh can avail of several developmental opportunities they were denied for decades! This includes access to better education, laws to protect the marginalised sections of society, a life of greater dignity for women.
- For decades, Articles 370 and 35-A encouraged separatism, terrorism, corruption and nepotism. There was no benefit to the common citizens. But, with the blessings of the people, a positive change has taken place.
My address to the people of India. https://t.co/f0q8rEUSkH
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 8, 2019