Modi will always lead J&K on developmental path: Minister

Srinagar, Nov 6: Prime Minister Narendra Modi would always want to take Jammu and Kashmir on the developmental path, union minister Jitender Singh said on Friday.

“I appeal to the people (of Jammu and Kashmir) to come out in large numbers to listen to the prime minister tomorrow (November 7) for the state’s development,” the minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office said at a press conference here.

Asked whether Modi would announce the much-awaited economic package to the state during his Saturday visit, Singh said: “…all the expectations of the people are under the consideration of the prime minister.”

He said he would avoid a comment on the curbs put on Kashmiri separatist leaders on the eve of Modi’s visit.

“I would avoid comment on the curbs on separatists in Kashmir. It is the state government’s domain, but they must have had good reasons for doing this,” he said.

About reports on hectic efforts by Peoples Democratic Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party to manage a large gathering at Modi’s public rally in Srinagar on Saturday, Singh said: “The prime minister always attracts large crowds and that is why the opposition is making allegations of managing audience for the rally.”

As for the return of awards by writers and film-makers in the country, he said: “I personally would like to appeal to the intellectuals of the country to rise for uniting society instead of dividing it. They should not become party to any side.”

The prime minister is scheduled to reach Srinagar at 11.30 a.m. and address a rally there at 12 noon. He will leave for Chanderkote (Ramban) at 1 p.m. At Baglihar, Modi will inaugurate phase II of the power project.

He will also inaugurate the four-laning of the Udhampur-Banihal portion of the Jammu-Srinagar national highway.

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