One nation, one Constitution now a reality: Modi

One nation, one Constitution now a reality: Modi

He said that every effort being made to remove corruption and black money was welcome and added these are "menaces" that have ruined India for 70 years. (AFP photo)

Striking a strident note on scrapping special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said a fresh approach on the matter was necessary as several efforts made by previous governments had failed to yield the desired results.

Follow live updates of Independence Day 2019

Follow our complete Independence Day coverage here

In his Independence Day address from the ramparts of the Red Fort, Modi also claimed that his decisions on J&K had all-round support from across the political spectrum – some vocal and others silent.

“But those who want to indulge in politics and weigh every decision on the scales of elections, keep speaking in favour of Article 370,” Modi said making an apparent reference to the previous government.

He dared the political opponents saying if Article 370 and 35-A were so important, why no attempts were made to make in a permanent feature, instead of its temporary nature in the Constitution.

“If you had so much conviction, you could have changed its status to permanent. But, you also knew that what had happened was not right, hence you did not have the courage to change it,” Modi said.

He said the abrogation of Article 370 was an important step in fulfilling the dream of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel for a united India.

“One nation, one Constitution. This has become a reality,” the prime minister announced from the Red Fort to a huge gathering comprising foreign diplomats, union ministers and commoners.

Modi said it was not the nature of his government to procrastinate on problems and nurse issues.

“We don't let problems like Article 370 fester. It is not the time to stall things. It is time for action. What did not happen in 70 years, the new government did in 70 days,” he said.

He said everyone was aware of the problems in Jammu and Kashmir but hesitated to take the first step.

“For 70 years, everyone made efforts, every government made some efforts. But, we did not get the desired results. When we do not get the desired results there was a need to start afresh,” Modi said adding that it was the duty of the government to fulfil the aspirations of the people of the region.

Modi said the existing systems of the last 70 years had strengthened separatism, given birth to terrorism, nurtured dynasties and strengthened the foundations of corruption.

“Injustice was being done when it came to the rights of women, children, Dalits, tribal communities. The dreams of sanitation workers were unfulfilled. How can we accept such a situation,” he asked.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox