New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday hailed the passage of bills on Jammu and Kashmir in Parliament as a "momentous occasion" in parliamentary democracy and said a new dawn awaits the people there as they are now free from the "shackles" of vested interest groups.
"Together we are, together we shall rise and together we will fulfil the dreams of 130 crore Indians! A momentous occasion in our parliamentary democracy, where landmark bills pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir have been passed with overwhelming support!" Modi said in a series of tweets soon after the Lok Sabha passed the bills. Parliament has given its nod to abolish the special status granted to the state under Article 370 and also to bifurcate it into two union territories.
"For years, vested interest groups who believed in emotional blackmail, never cared for people's empowerment. J&K is now free from their shackles. A new dawn, better tomorrow awaits!" the prime minister said. "Saluting sisters and brothers of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh for their courage and resilience," he said, adding that the bills will ensure integration and empowerment of these regions. These steps will bring the youth into the mainstream and give them innumerable opportunities to showcase their skills and talents, he said, adding that local infrastructure will significantly improve.
Modi said the passage of key bills pertaining to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh is a fitting tribute to Sardar Patel, who worked for India's unity, to B R Ambedkar, whose views are well known, and Dr S P Mookerjee, who devoted his life for India's unity and integrity. "Special congratulations to the people of Ladakh! It is a matter of great joy that their long-standing demand of being declared a Union Territory has been fulfilled. This decision will give impetus to the overall prosperity of the region and ensure better developmental facilities," the prime minister said.
In Parliament, political parties rose to the occasion, overcame ideological differences and took part in a rich debate that increased the pride of India's parliamentary democracy, Modi said, congratulating all MPs, various political parties and their leaders. "People of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh would be proud that MPs overcame differences and discussed the future of these regions as well as ensured peace, progress and prosperity there. The widespread support can be clearly seen in the final numbers, 125:61 in RS and 370:70 in LS," he said.
Modi also lauded the efforts of Home Minister Amit Shah saying he has been continuously working towards ensuring a better life for the people of the three regions. "His commitment and diligence is clearly visible in the passage of these bills. I would like to specially congratulate Amit Bhai!" Modi said. The prime minister also hailed Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla for the "excellent manner" in which they conducted proceedings of both Houses. He said they deserve praise from the entire nation.
Parliament on Tuesday approved a resolution abrogating special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and a bill for splitting the state into two union territories. The resolution was adopted by Lok Sabha with 351 members voting in its support and 72 against it, while one member abstained. The bill to create two UTs -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh -- was passed by 370 votes in favour and 70 against. Modi was present in the House. The resolution and the bill were approved by Rajya Sabha on Monday.