The time is running out for the politicians and political outfits which thrives on militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, said Union Minister Jitendra Singh Monday, expressing satisfaction on successful conduct of the first phase of municipal polls in the state.
"The leaders who have been dissuading people from participating in the poll process are the ones who have, over the last several decades, sought to project their indispensability by intimidating the genuine democratic forces," said Singh, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister Office.
"Nevertheless, however much they may try to thwart this phenomenon, even though unsuccessfully, there is going to be no looking back now," he added.
Singh said the common people, particularly the youths, including those from the Kashmir Valley, have seen through the "hypocrisy and duplicity of such leaders" who demand "dynastic" autonomy for themselves, but do not support "democratic autonomy" for duly elected local representatives.
"The message is loud and clear that the time is running out for such politicians and political groups who had, over the last 20 to 30 years, got used to thrive on militancy, in an atmosphere of vacuum without facing any democratic competition," said an official statement, quoting the minister.
He said "no force on earth can hold back the people of Jammu & Kashmir who have moved ahead to become a part of new India's development journey led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi."
Singh said, through the ballot box, the youths of Kashmir have reiterated their aspirational urge which is as intense as that of the youths in any other part of the country.
The recent trend of Kashmiri youths emerging meritorious in prestigious all-India exams like IAS/civil services, IIT-JEE, NEET is an indicator that the youths of Kashmir do not wish to miss out the opportunities unfolding in contemporary India, the statement quoted the minister as saying.
The substantial turnout of women voters in Kashmir Valley is an endorsement of Modi's revolutionary pro-women reforms, he said.
The polls to the urban local bodies in Jammu and Kashmir is to be held in four phases. While the first phase of polling was held Monday, the voting for remaining three phases are to be held on October 10, 13, and 16.
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