"We have to create a new paradise (in Kashmir)... hug each Kashmiri," said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, launching the BJP's poll campaign for next month's Maharashtra Assembly elections in Nashik.
Accusing the erstwhile Congress governments of ignoring the problems of Kashmir, PM Modi said, "For 40 years they [Kashmiris] suffered because of the poor policies of New Delhi. Let us make Kashmir heaven again."
"This decision was taken to bring out people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh from violence, terrorism, separatism and corruption," Modi said, speaking of the government's decision to abrogate Article 370.
He said that the Constitutional implementation was not just a decision of the government but also of 130 crore Indians as well.
After the government's move, Modi said that attempts are being made from "across the border" to destabilise the Valley and that Maharashtra, India and the world knows that "our neighbours are aatank ki factory".
"The youth, mothers and sisters in Jammu and Kashmir have made up their minds to come out of the long period of violence," he said.
"People are very clear, they want development."
"You all gave slogans 'Kashmir hamara hai', now the call is 'Kashmir banana hai'," said Modi and received thunderous applause.
"We had promised that we will make new efforts to curb the problems in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Today, I can say with satisfaction that the country has started walking towards fulfilling those dreams," he said.
(With inputs from PTI)