“Development” and building of “confidence” are the key to address the problem of Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said tonight while hoping that the youth of the Valley won’t get “misled”.
Amid ongoing unrest in the Valley, he emphasised on the need for taking Kashmir ahead with peace and unity while ensuring that it remains “paradise” in the real sense.
“The seeds (of the current unrest) were sown during Independence. Every government has had to face this problem. This not a new problem but an old one,” he told Network18 in an interview when asked how to solve the problem of the valley.
Asserting that “solution to the problem” would be found, Modi said, “Kashmir needs ‘vikas’ (development) and ‘vishwas’ (confidence). 125 crore people of the country are ready to give ‘vikas’ and there has never been dearth of ‘vishwas’.”
He said there has to be forward movement on the basis of ‘vikas’ and ‘vishwas’ and he was confident on this front.
“I hope Kashmiri youth will not be misled and will move ahead with peace, unity, harmony. I hope Kashmir will remain the ‘jannat’ (paradise),” the Prime Minister said.
Modi was asked about apprehensions that there will polarisation in Uttar Pradesh during the upcoming Assembly polls which are seen as ‘mini-national elections.
“BJP always contests on the plank of development and will contest these polls as well on the plank of development,” the Prime Minister asserted.
“In our country, the poison of casteism and communalism has caused a lot of harm. Vote bank politics has destroyed our country. During the last (Lok Sabha) polls, there was no atmosphere for vote bank politics but for development. A big section of the society has turned towards that. May be people in UP will vote keeping in mind the development and benefit of UP,” he said.
He emphasised that development is essential for the welfare of farmers and villages as also for creation of jobs for the youth.
He underlined the need for peace, unity and harmony to take the nation forward.
Modi said it was “unfortunate” that everything in the country was being linked to elections and politics.
“Even if decisions are taken one and a quarter year ahead of polls, it is linked to elections,” he said, while taking a dig at “super political pundits” who cannot shun politics and make prescriptions while sitting in “AC rooms”.
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He also noted that the country “unfortunately” witnesses elections regularly, because of which everything is linked to polls.
“Every decision is weighed in the balance of elections… It is time to delink decisions taken from the elections… The early we do so, the better it is. When the elections come, there will be manifestos… It is need of the hour to separate politics from work,” he said.
He said a number of political parties have told him, “some openly and some in hush hush manner” that they favour simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies. They have said that this practice needs to be ended, he said.
“But it cannot be done by the government or one party alone. When all parties think and decide under the leadership of Election Commission, then only things can happen. Whatever may be my views but I can’t do as we are in a democracy. But I hope someday there will be comprehensive deliberations and discussions on what is good or bad,” he said.
To a question on poverty alleviation, the Prime Minister said “it has been a political slogan” and there has been a lot of politics in the name of the poor.
“I do not want to comment as to whether it was good or bad. But my approach is different. To eradicate poverty, we need to empower the poor and only they can end their poverty. To keep the poor in that state, there can be politics but to eradicate poverty, we need to empower them. Education and employment is essential in this regard. Eonomic empowerment is essential,” he said.
Asked how much was peace crucial for the country’s economic progress, Modi said well-being, peace and harmony are essential in life and in the society.
“Even if a family is very prosperous, there is a need for peace, unity and harmony in that,” he said, adding he was committed to this end.
Referring to the relationship between his government and the judiciary, Modi said it was a “totally wrong” perception that there are differences.
“This government goes by the rules, law and the Constitution. There is no scope for any confrontation or tension with any Constitutional institution. This perception is totally wrong. The government shares a warm relationship with the judiciary within the Constitutional decorum,” the Prime Minister said, adding, “I try my best to maintain as much decorum as possible.”