Democracy has been established in J&K for the first time since Independence, says PM Modi; flays Congress

The Prime Minister said the country today was moving ahead to realise the goal of a developed India and to fulfil the resolutions of 'Amrit Kaal'

Updated - August 07, 2023 01:35 pm IST

Published - August 07, 2023 12:12 pm IST - Chandigarh

Prime Minister Narendra Modi gives a virtual video address during the inauguration of the Kshetriya Panchayati Raj Parishad in Haryana, on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi gives a virtual video address during the inauguration of the Kshetriya Panchayati Raj Parishad in Haryana, on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 7 took a dig at the Congress, saying that there had been no concrete efforts made to strengthen Panchayati Raj Institutions in the country, and that Jammu and Kashmir was a prime example of democracy having been established at the ground level after the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019.

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Mr. Modi said that for over four decades after the country’s Independence, the Congress did not get to understand how vital it was to implement the Panchayati Raj system in villages. He was virtually addressing the two-day regional Panchayati Raj council held in Haryana.

“During the Congress’s regime, there were no concrete efforts made to strengthen Panchayati Raj Institutions. Maximum work was limited to figures and documents. Jammu and Kashmir is the biggest example. In the year 2019, after Article 370 was abrogated, it was for the first time that elections were held there from the gram panchayat (village) level to the zila (district) level, in which, over 33,000 local public representatives have been elected,” he said

“It’s for the first time that democracy has been established there [Jammu and Kashmir] at the ground level. This has come after so many years after Independence,” he said.

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Mr. Modi said that during Congress regimes, even when a mechanism had been developed at the district level it was left to its destiny, owing to which two-thirds of the country’s population, which resides in villages, was left to struggle for basic amenities such as road, power, water, bank, and house, etc.

“This is the reason why even after seven decades of the country’s Independence, electricity couldn’t reach over 18,000 villages across the country. It was due to the Congress and other parties with similar ideology and their corrupt leaders, who had made more than 16 crore rural houses a hub of adjustment,” he said

Mr. Modi asserted that the Panchayati Raj system is a strong pillar of Indian democracy.

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