Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that preparations are underway for holding Assembly elections in the future in Jammu and Kashmir, where development is now visible on the ground.
"Giving fair opportunities to the potential of all, this is the real spirit of democracy. Be it Jammu or Kashmir, the balance of development is now visible on the ground," Modi said.
"The Delimitation Commission has been constituted in Jammu and Kashmir and preparations are on for holding Assembly elections in the future," the prime minister said while addressing the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort on the occasion of 75th Independence Day.
He also referred to the abrogation of Article 370 and said holding the first-ever District Development Council polls in Jammu and Kashmir reflected on the country's determination to develop a violence-free Kashmir.
Talking about Ladakh, which was carved as a Union Territory after the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir, he said it is also progressing towards its limitless possibilities of development.
"On the one hand, Ladakh is witnessing the creation of modern infrastructure, while on the other hand 'Sindhu Central University' is also going to make Ladakh a centre of higher education," he said.
Modi said that whether it is eastern India, the North-East, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh including the entire Himalayan region, or the coastal belt or tribal region, they will become the base for India's development in the future.
"Whether it is about the Bru Reang agreement in Tripura after decades or giving constitutional status to OBC commission, or the BDC and DDC elections which were held in Jammu and Kashmir for the first time after independence, India is continuously proving its resolve totake tough decisions," Modi said.
In a nearly 90-minute speech that dwelt on a range of issues, including India's deprived poor, its farmers and the pain of Partition, the prime minister also spoke of the challenges of terrorism and expansionism.
By conducting surgical and airstrikes, the country had sent out the message of a 'New India', he said.
"India has seen the efforts of the world and also appreciated it. Today, the world views India from a new perspective. There are two important perspectives to it. One is terrorism and another is expansionism. India is fighting these two challenges and responding to them astutely and with courage," Modi said without naming China and Pakistan.
This shows India is changing and can take difficult decisions, Modi said from the ramparts of the Red Fort, the centrepiece of India's Independence Day celebrations.
The nature of international relations, he added, changed after the Second World War and there is a possibility of new world order in a post-coronavirus pandemic scenario.
There should be a historic decision to change Article 370, The system that frees the country from the tax trap – be GST, One rank one pension for our military comrades. Or a peaceful solution to the Ramjanmabhoomi case, we have seen all this come true in the last few years
Wity inputs from PTI