'Article 370 has gone forever, will never come back', says Anurag Thakur

Union Minister of State (MoS) Anurag Thakur on Saturday asserted that Article 370 has "gone forever", despite several statements made by former Chief Ministers Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti that they would bring it back.

"Farooq Abdullah says he will seek China's help. Mehbooba Mufti says she will take the help of Pakistan, the country that gave us terrorism. They say they will bring back Article 370, but I say Article 370 has gone forever and will never come back," Thakur said while speaking at a rally in Jammu and Kashmir's Budgam district, ahead of the sixth phase of the DDC election scheduled to commence tomorrow.

The Minister of State further said that voting for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would ensure education, employment and development in the union territory.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji will bring education, employment and development in Jammu and Kashmir. New IIMs and railway connectivity has been brought by Modi ji. The budget for the next five years will be made by the DDC representatives chosen by you. This strength has been given to you by Modi ji," he said.

He added, "DDC members will make decisions about schools, electricity, and other development works. The people here want peace and harmony, freedom from the Abdullah-Mehbooba government."

He further asked people to compare their children to those of Abdullah and Mufti, saying that while the leaders ensured education and development for their own children, they compelled the children of the poor to take up arms.

"I urge you all to cast your vote. Modi ji's BJP will bring about development just like in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat," he said.

"These elections are being contested on the issue of development and the huge voter turnout shows that democracy is winning here. Opportunities are waiting for people of Jammu and Kashmir," the union minister said.

A total of 31 constituencies are set to go for polling in the sixth phase of ongoing District Development Council (DDC) polls and 334 Panch and 77 Sarpanch seats will also witness voting on Sunday across Jammu and Kashmir.

Addressing an evening press conference here, State Election Commissioner (SEC), KK Sharma said that a total of 31 DDC constituencies will go to polls including 14 seats from Kashmir division and 17 from Jammu division.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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