Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave Jammu and Kashmir the real self-rule by ensuring successful conduct of panchayat elections and the first-ever district development council (DDC) polls in seven decades, Union minister Jitendra Singh said on Sunday.
Singh, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, said panchayats are continuously being empowered under Modi.
"Jammu & Kashmir was often known for slogans of self-rule if the essence and meaning of self-rule is that it is the democracy born from the grassroots, then it is only Modi who introduced us to the concept of self-rule by first holding successful panchayat elections and then conducting the first-ever district council elections after over 70 years of independence," the minister told a public rally here.
The mammoth rally was also addressed by the Prime Minister to mark the National Panchayati Raj day.
"The process of empowerment of Panchayats under Modi is continuously going on and today is an important landmark in the same sequence wherein Prime Minister Narendra Modi has chosen to address Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) across the country from a Jammu panchayat," he said.
"This is a reiteration of Modi's commitment to not only strengthen but also empower Panchayati Raj in J&K in the same manner as in the rest of the country," he said.
Singh said, the news of the PM's visit to Palli panchayat inspired so much enthusiasm that officials and experts from the Union Ministry of Science and Technology set up a 500-kw solar plant in a record 18 days, which will provide solar electricity to 348 village households.
Crediting Modi for giving highest priority to Jammu and Kashmir, he said the most remarkable feature of the last eight years of his rule is that he not only gave J&K several important national level projects but through personal intervention also revived many such projects which had, for certain reasons, been halted or delayed.
"One of them is the Rattle Power Project which he launched today. Similarly, he recalled that during his last visit to Jammu, he had launched the Shahpur-Kandi project which had been stalled for about 40 years," he said.
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