Srinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday invoked Atal Bihari Vajpayee's concepts of communal harmony, humanity and democracy to share the pain of Kashmiris and promised to take the state to new heights of development.
"People of Kashmir have given me a lot of trust and love. I will repay this love and trust with interest in the form of development. I can die for this love and trust showered on me," he said in his first election meeting in the Valley, that avoided any mention of controversial issues like abrogation of Article 370.
In his 30 minutes speech, Modi used the opportunity to attack the "all pervasive" corruption under successive governments of "Congress, father-son and father-daughter" in the last 30 years and asked the people to give him "one chance" to bring development.
Wearing a traditional Kashmiri 'Pheran', Modi sought to strike a chord with the people saying,"I as Pradhan Sevak have come to share your pain and anguish. Your sorrow is my sorrow, your pain is my pain, your problem is my problem. I have not come to take anything.
"People in the army and police have died so have the innocent youths. Their loss is irreparable and no one can compensate for it but sharing can reduce the pain."
Invoking Vajpayee's famous 2003 speech at the same venue, Modi said,"Vajpayee made a good beginning. I have come to carry this forward. It is my duty to carry forward and fulfil his dreams of Insaniyat, Kashmiriyat and Jamhooriyat (democracy) which are the three pillars that can turn around Kashmir in the 21st century on the path of development."