Independence Day, Eid Most Peaceful In J&K This Year In 3 Decades: Jitendra Singh
Jammu and Kashmir witnessed its "most peaceful" Independence Day and Eid celebrations this year since militancy erupted in the state three decades ago, Union minister Jitendra Singh said on Friday.
"Even ordinary people in the Kashmir valley are happy over scrapping of Article 370, like people in Jammu and Ladakh. I can say with conviction that the Independence Day and Eid were most peaceful in the last 30 years when terrorism began in Jammu and Kashmir," he said.
The Lok Sabha MP from the state said the restrictions imposed in Jammu and Kashmir is "being exaggerated" by the people who were opposed to repealing Article 370.
"Nothing happened this year, while earlier Independence Day and Eid were marred by bloodshed and violence, and curfews continued for days. But, the issue of restrictions is being exaggerated by those who in their subconscious mind are affected by scrapping of Article 370."
The state where until now only two families ruled alternatively by getting just 7-8 percent votes, will soon witness true democracy, he said. Addressing an event organised by Gyan Foundation to pay homage to Vajpayee on his first death anniversary, Singh said that after Jammu and kashmir's special status ended, a narrative was created against the BJP and the Modi government by "distorting" the former PM's slogan.
"They say, Vajpayee ji hote to aisa nahin hota (had Vajpayee been alive, this would not have happened). Vajpayee never approved of special status of Jammu and Kashmir," he asserted.
He also lashed out at "intellectuals" voicing dissent over scrapping of Article 370 and slamming the Centre over restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir. "There is a class of intellectuals who would visit Kashmir for a few days, come back and write a book, become Kashmir experts and participate in debate on news channel programmes."
Other speakers including BJP vice president Shyam Jaju also shared their memories of Vajpayee. "Vajpayee ji was adept in using his humour to deal with party leaders and workers in tricky situations through his impeccable sense of humour," Jaju said, citing numerous instances. Convener of the event, Virendra Sachdeva, suggested Jaju write a book on experiences of party leaders and workers with Vajpayee.
Gyan Foundation founder Sumit Bhasin said that the organisation will hold a series of events in memory of Vajpayee in coming days which will conclude on former prime minister's birth anniversary in December.
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