People tasted ‘real democracy’ under PM Modi: Jitendra Singh

JAMMU — The people of the country, especially those in Jammu and Kashmir, tasted ”real democracy” under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said on Friday.

On a day when voting is underway in 88 constituencies spread across 13 states and Union Territories in the second phase of the Lok Sabha elections, Singh said the BJP will register a ”landslide” victory and form a “stable and strong” government for the third consecutive term.

”After Modi took over in 2014, the people got a feel of real democracy, especially in Jammu and Kashmir where the grassroots level democracy was strengthened with the holding of panchayat and urban local bodies elections and implementation of the 72nd and 73rd constitutional amendments after the Congress deprived the people of these benefits,” Singh told reporters here after casting his vote in Jammu Lok Sabha constituency.

The minister and his wife and children cast their ballots at a polling station in Trikuta Nagar.

”There is enthusiasm among the voters, especially the first-timers. The country has witnessed revolutionary transformation in the past 10 years under the leadership of Modi.

”In 2014, the youth of the country was disappointed and looking for opportunities to leave the country but today the situation is such that the youth working outside the country wants to return,” Singh, who is contesting the elections from Udhampur parliamentary constituency, said.

Udhampur went to polls in the first phase on April 19 and registered 68.27 per cent polling, sealing the fate of the Union minister and 11 other candidates.

He said the self-esteem of the people living outside the country has increased with startup initiatives increasing from 150 in 2014 to 1.50 lakh.

”Today, the world is looking up to India because they know that they are dealing with a prime minister who has a stable government and is going to be there for the next term and can do business with any country. They are comfortable with a strong prime minister rather than having a new prime minister every year,” he said.

Singh said the people are ”enthusiastic” about giving a third term to Modi as they know that India has gained global stature under the prime minister’s leadership and acknowledge his efforts to achieve a better future for the youth.

Referring to the abrogation of Article 370, he said Jammu and Kashmir has joined the mainstream and became part of the development endeavour after the Modi government’s decision.

”Every section of the society, irrespective of religion and region, is going to vote for the BJP because Modi united the people of the country in a single thread post-independence,” he added.

Asked about the possibility of assembly elections after the completion of Lok Sabha polls in Jammu and Kashmir, he said the prime minister has already assured the people about it along with the restoration of statehood and “there is nothing more to add to his statement”.

He also took a dig at the Congress over the controversial statement by one of its leaders on inheritance tax, saying ”Inheritance tax is alien to democratic values, Indian culture and Indian civilisation. We have a family system in place which has a legacy so it is quite incompatible with our system.

”What is being said is with a certain political design to appease certain sections of the society and so it is a part of appeasement policy which congress has been following since decades,” he said. — (PTI)