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Modi says J&K won't stay UT long, promises early elections

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New Delhi, Aug 09: Addressing the nation at 8 pm on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday assured the people of Jammu and Kashmir that Assembly elections will be held in the state soon in a transparent manner. Before attacking the long-running dynasty rule in the state, PM Modi asserted that after the abrogation of Article 370, the youth of the state will have the opportunity to run for elections.

Modi says J&K wont stay UT long, promises early elections

Beginning his first address since the decision, Modi said that decades of dynasty rule in Jammu and Kashmir prevented the youth from political leadership, however, that will soon change.

"You will be shocked to know that in Jammu and Kashmir, thousands of people had the right to vote in Lok Sabha elections but neither could they vote nor contest in Assembly or local polls. These are the people who came to India after the partition in 1947. Should injustice to them have continued?" said PM Modi.

[ PM Modi remembers bravehearts from J-K, says country has to realise their dream for peace]

The prime minister later asserted, "I want to make it clear that your representative will be elected by you, your representative will come from amongst you." He added that he has full faith that under this new system, Jammu and Kashmir will be free from terrorism and separatist tendencies.

"Just like there used to be MLAs before, there will be in future. Just like there was a cabinet before, so will be in future. The CM post will also continue," Modi said in his speech.

He also assured the citizens of J&K that the status of Jammu and Kashmir as a Union Territory was "temporary" and that it would be restored as a full "state" once the situation normalises.

Jammu and Kashmir has been without an elected government since June last year, when the BJP had pulled out of its coalition with Mehbooba Mufti's PDP. After six months of Governor's rule, the state was put under President's rule in December last year, ensuring that the Centre continues to call the shots.

Polls were expected to be held in May along with the Lok Sabha elections, which were held in J&K, but security reasons were cited as the reason for not holding them.

Earlier this week, Parliament on Tuesday had 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 and the bill were approved by Rajya Sabha on Monday.

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