Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday addressed the nation on his government's decision to revoke special status given to the state of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370. He hailed the decision as 'historic' and said a new era has begun in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
Following are 10 important quotes from the PM's televised address:
>> People of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh were bereft of various rights and (the Article) was a big obstacle in their development. That system has been done away with. The harm that Article 370 did to the people and residents of Jammu and Kashmir were never discussed. Astonishingly, no one could ever say as to what benefit Article 370 brought for people of Jammu and Kashmir.
>> In the last three decades, almost 42,000 innocent people lost their lives in Jammu and Kashmir. Development of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh couldn't be done at a pace that it deserves.
>> Decades of dynastic rule prevented the youth of Jammu-Kashmir from political leadership. Now our youth will lead J&K and will take it to a new height. I will especially urge the youth and especially sisters of Jammu and Kashmir to come forward and take the mantle of development in their hand.
>> After the whole administration and government machinery is used to implement the people friendly with a fast pace, I don't think that Union Territory arrangement will be required for long in Jammu and Kashmir. In Ladakh, however, it will continue.
>> We all want that in the upcoming time, assembly elections should be held in Jammu and Kashmir. A new government is formed and a new chief minister is made. I assure the people of Jammu Kashmir that you will get to elect your representative in a transparent manner.
>> Pakistan used Articles 370 and 35 A as a weapon to 'instigate' people's sentiments against the country and expressed confidence that in the new order the state would be free of terrorism and separatism.
>> Under the new system, it will be a priority for the central government that employees of Jammu-Kashmir and J&K Police get the same perks and privileges as that of employees and police personnel in other Union territories. The employees in the Union Territory get several perks and privileges such as LTC, House Rent Allowance, education Allowance for children, health scheme...most of which are not available to the employees in Jammu Kashmir.
>> Work will begin soon to fill up the vacant central and state posts in J&K and Ladakh. This will open up new employment opportunities for the local youth. Public Sector Units and companies from the private sector will be encouraged to provide employment opportunities.
>> I want to assure friends of Jammu and Kashmir that the situation will gradually return to normalcy and their difficulties will ease. The government is ensuring that people in Jammu and Kashmir don't face any difficulties in celebrating Eid.
>> I respect objections of those opposed to our decisions. Will request them to keep national interests supreme.