As the elections in Bihar near their penultimate phase and all eyes are glued to the action next Sunday, it is going to be an action packed Sunday. On the same day Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address a rally at the Sheri-E-Kashmir stadium in Srinagar. Given the recent bouts of animosity and failed attempts to revive peace talks with Pakistan, this address at the venue that was once made famous by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee address in 2003 is being looked upon with great hope and of course a generous dose of scepticism as well.
The Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir, Mufti Mohammed Sayeed has of course made the right kind of noises. He said, “People have great expectations from the visit of the Prime Minister who is a visionary and has his eyes fixed on overall development of Jammu and Kashmir. I see this as a turning point in the history of the state.” He added that the Prime Minister had taken personal interest in speeding up the four laning of the Jammu and Kashmir highway and reiterated Modi’s commitment to development in the state. In his words, “I met Modi a couple of times and realized that he genuinely wants to win the hearts and minds of people of the state.”
It is needles to mention that hopes of financial aid and an attractive package to abet growth in the valley remains upfront in the minds of both the average residents as well as the policymakers in the state. Kick-starting the development in the flood hit areas is a priority concern for the state and it needs to be seen how the Prime Minister’s office tackles the issue. Rebuilding infrastructure facilities coupled with long-term growth needs to be the core strategy for both the centre and the state to bring about sustained and inclusive growth in the valley.
However these hopes for a strong financial package are also laced with a margin of scepticism, especially from the many flood affected families in Srinagar he are yet to receive any meaningful assistance post the flood devastation.
Will the Modi Magic weave wonders in Kashmir? Keep following Clamorworld for live and meaningful inputs from the valley on November 7.