Expressing satisfaction over the voter turnout in the first phase of Urban Local Body polls in Jammu and Kashmir, union minister Jitendra Singh Monday said time was running out for politicians who thrived on unrest and terrorism in the valley.
"We congratulate the people of Jammu and Kashmir for polling in high numbers in the first phase of local body elections in the state. The message is loud and clear that time is running out for political groups which over the last 20 to 30 years thrived on militancy and an atmosphere of vacuum where there was no democratic competition," Mr Singh told reporters in Jammu.
After casting his vote at a polling booth in ward no 53 of Trikuta Nagar, Mr Singh said no force on earth could hold back the people of Jammu and Kashmir as they want to be part of new India's development journey led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The leaders who have been dissuading the people from participating in the election process are the ones who have over the last several decades sought to project their indispensability by intimidating the genuine democratic forces, Mr Singh said.
They may try to thwart this phenomenon (democratic process), but they will be unsuccessful, he averred.
Mr Singh said common people have seen through the "hypocrisy and duplicity" of leaders who demand "dynastic" autonomy for themselves, but do not support "democratic" autonomy for duly elected local representatives.
The union minister said through the ballot box the youth of Kashmir have reiterated their aspirational urge.
Speaking on the recent trend of Kashmiri youths faring well in prestigious All-India examinations, including civil services, IIT-JEE, NEET, he said the youths do not wish to miss out on the opportunities available in contemporary India.
The substantial turnout of women voters in Kashmir Valley was an endorsement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's revolutionary pro-women reforms, he said.