PM Modi to visit Kashmir Valley on March 7, first since Article 370 abrogation

Srinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit the Kashmir Valley on March 7, his first visit to the Valley since the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019.

The last time the Prime Minister visited Kashmir was in February 2019.

During his visit to Kashmir on March 7, the Prime Minister is expected to announce the score of developmental projects and also interact with the beneficiaries of various national schemes and programmes in the Valley.

Sources said that the main venue of the Prime Minister’s visit will be the Bakshi Stadium and not the convention centre by the banks of the Dal Lake.

They said that Bakshi Stadium has been chosen as the venue because a large number of people are expected to attend PM Modi’s programme.

A large number of people including those from the civil society and various local organisations have exhibited interest in attending the Prime Minister’s programme in Srinagar city.

PM Modi will visit Kashmir at a time when separatists called Bandhs and strikes are a thing of the past.

Stone pelting that had assumed menacing proportions before the abrogation of Article 370 has completely vanished.

Educational institutions have functioned normally and a record number of over 2 crore tourists visited Kashmir last year.

Businesses have been running normally and the common man has been living a peaceful and fearless life after the abrogation of Article 370.

It is because of the historical decision to abrogate Article 370 and integrate J&K completely with the rest of the country that the Prime Minister has fixed a symbolic target of 370 seats for the BJP in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Even the political adversaries of the BJP admit that J&K has witnessed peace and normalcy after Article 370 was abrogated.

However, the BJP had been looking forward to a mega public rally to be addressed by PM Modi in south Kashmir Anantnag district that would announce the party’s poll campaign in Kashmir.

There is still no official word on whether the Prime Minister addresses a rally in Anantnag or not.

There is, however, no doubt that the people look forward to the March 7 visit as they expect a magnanimous development package and a probable announcement by the Prime Minister on the regularisation of thousands of ad-hoc and contractual employees working in various government departments.

Earlier, PM Modi visited Jammu on February 20. He inaugurated and also laid the foundation of developmental projects worth Rs 32,000 including the 48.5 Km extension of Railway service from Banihal town to Sangaldan and the inauguration of AIIMS in Vijaypur in Samba district.

The Prime Minister addressed a mega public gathering in Jammu and also interacted with the beneficiaries of various national flagship programmes in J&K.

The Prime minister expressed his satisfaction at the success of his Jammu visit and also appreciated the efforts made by L-G Manoj Sinha in ensuring that the benefits of the national developmental programmes reach the common man.

A large number of the Pahari community came out on February 20 to thank Modi for granting ST status to them.

The demand for ST status by the Pahari community in J&K was pending for more than 50 years and despite promises no previous state government had granted this status to them.

IANS

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