Highlighting the achievements of the first 100 days of his government on his 69th birthday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that Article 370 was abrogated to solve a decades-long problem and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was the inspiration behind the decision.
He also said that his government has taken several steps in the first 100 days of its second tenure to double the income of farmers' families.
"The country is realising Sardar's dream of Ek Bharat, Shreshta Bharat (One India, Great India). Today, the country is trying to complete the tasks which were left incomplete during Independence and years thereafter," he said.
"People of Jammu and Kashmir had to face discrimination for 70 years. The entire nation suffered the ill-effects and violence, unfulfilled hopes and aspirations. The country has taken an important decision with the inspiration of Sardar Saheb," he said while addressing a public meeting here at the site of Sardar Sarovar Dam.
In August, Parliament had scrapped Article 370 which gave special rights to Jammu and Kashmir and also bifurcated the state into two Union Territories - Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Modi said the decision has been taken to follow a new path to solve the decades-long problem.
"I am confident that with the active support of millions of colleagues from Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Kargil, we will be able to create a new stream of development and trust. I am fully committed to the unity and greatness of India. We have strengthened this commitment in the last 100 days," he added.
The Prime Minister, who was on a visit to his home state, outlined the benefits of PM Kisan scheme and pension scheme for farmers and small traders.
"Continuous efforts are on to double the income of every farming family of the country including Gujarat by 2022. After the formation of the new government, several steps have been taken in this direction in the last 100 days. Farmers are getting benefits of PM Kisan scheme. Pension scheme for farmers and small traders has also been started," he said.
The National Pension Scheme for traders and self-employed aims at providing a minimum assured pension of Rs 3000 to small traders and self-employed after attaining the age of 60. Around three crore small traders are expected to benefit from the scheme.
Modi said that the Statue of Unity brought Kevadia and state of Gujarat on the tourism map of the world. The Prime Minister highlighted that more than 23 lakh people have come to see the tallest statue of the world since it was unveiled last year.
"The discussion of the Statue of Unity is natural when it comes to tourism. Due to this, Kevadia and Gujarat have figured prominently on the tourism map of the whole world. It was unveiled only 11 months ago, but so far more than 23 lakh tourists have come here from within the country and around the world," he said.
"An average of 8,500 tourists are coming every day to the Statue of Unity. I am told that on the day of Janmashtami last month, more than 34,000 tourists reached here. Only 10,000 visit Statue of Liberty in America every day. It was constructed 133 years ago," he added.
Modi had announced to build the statue when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat in memory of India's first Deputy Prime Minister Sardar Patel who is credited with uniting all 562 princely states of pre-independent India.
The 182-metre statue is located on Sadhu Bet Island on Narmada river in Gujarat.
The Prime Minister said that when all projects related to Statue of Unity will be completed it will pave way for new employment opportunities for local people.
"Statue of Unity is also becoming a new medium of employment for the tribal sisters, brothers and youth of this place. In the coming days when the roads and other projects related to tourism here will get completed, it will generate new employment opportunities," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)