Narendra Modi

Leh, Aug 12: Underlining his government’s resolve to fight graft which has “ruined” the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today expressed his willingness to take along people from various parties who have been fighting corruption.

“Corruption is troubling us. People are angry. I assure that we will fight corruption and work with all those against graft. Corruption has ruined the country. I promise that we will fight against corruption with full might,” he said addressing a rally here at polo ground.

Modi said the government is willing to take along all anti-corruption forces, political parties and its leaders and honest officer in its fight to end graft. “There are also honest officers. We will work with them too. If we win the fight against corruption we will win battle against poverty,” he said after inaugurating Nimoo Bazgo hydro-electric project and Leh-Kargil-Srinagar transmission system.

Dressed in traditional Ladakhi attire, Modi said government will do its best to bring a ‘kesar’ (saffron) revolution in Jammu and Kashmir giving impetus to its production.

“We have put Leh at the focus of our solar energy initiatives. We have to connect every corner of the country through power, rail, road and telecommunication,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister said development must be such that it positively transforms the lives of the common people. He said three Ps–Prakash (solar light), Prayawaran (environment) and Paryatan (tourism) are the assets of Jammu and Kashmir and all efforts would be taken for their development.

“We have kept Ladakh at the centre of our solar energy policy. Now you will not live on borrowed power. You will live on your own solar powered electricity,” he said. He said government is planning special projects including large-scale organic farming for the development of all Himalayan states including.

“I am fortunate to have worked for the party organisation in Jammu and Kashmir. I used to visit the state often. I know the problems people face and most importantly I know the strength of this land,” he said.

Modi said there was was a time when PMs never visited this state and he has come here two times already as Ladakh’s affection draws him here. Addressing the function, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said that Ladakh is one of the most beautiful corners in the world but is plagued by a few problems as well.

“This corner is the most beautiful area in the world. But there are problems as well. You will never find dearth of hospitality and smile among the people of this region. There was a cloud burst here in 2010. “But people braved it and fought that calamity courageously. We can’t find a trace of the after effects of cloud burst here now,” he said.

The Chief Minister highlighted the problems faced by people while travelling outside the state including high air-fare. “Airlines should reduce the fares. In peak winters they have shell out up to Rs 22,000 for travelling to Delhi from Leh. We want this to be reduced and better connectivity for the people of this area,” Omar said.

The Chief Minister also thanked former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for taking the initiative of early completion of Nimoo Bazgo hydro power project. “I thank former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for promptly releasing required funds for early completion of the project,” he said.

The Prime Minister said with projects worth Rs 1800 crore, the area will not live on borrowed power.

“You will live on your electricity. Your area is getting illuminated by its own power. There will no more trouble of diesel, smoke and environmental issues. The projects inaugurated by me are festival of clean energy,” he said.

The Prime Minister said Government has announced a P-3 project with focus on modernising Pashmina production, designing and technology.

“Our Pashmina, which is the pride and identity of every household, is in shambles…In coming days, we will bring major improvement in the lives of Pashmina weavers,” he said at a rally attended by nearly 10,000 people.

Modi said the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir government have been involved in a tussle for many years over the issue of Rs 60 crore interest levied by Food Corporation of India.

“Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was contesting. I promise that Government has decided to waive off this Rs 60 crore. Second issue was road project conceived by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The escalation of cost to the tune of extra Rs 8000 crore was the main issue for non-completion. It has been pending for a long time. I will pass a cabinet note, government will spend Rs 8000 crore to develop road connectivity in the state,” he said.

Modi said new thinking is required to understand the problems of the Himalayan states and their development.

“How to improve organic farming in the Himalayan region and market its produce in such a manner that it increases the income of the farmer? We have decided to set up an institute which could harness the potential of Himalayan region,” he said.