PM Modi's 2-Day Visit To J&K This Week Packs Big Political Message

The occasion will be the celebration of the International Yoga Day, during which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will join a youth programme.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi will go on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday -- his first in his third term -- sending a massive political message after the successful conclusion of the general election in the Union Territory.

The occasion will be the celebration of the 10th International Yoga Day, during which he will join a youth programme. Being in Jammu and Kashmir and leading a Yoga programme on the bank of the Dal lake at that point, will be an exercise in optics for the  international community.

Ten years ago, United Nations had declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga and last year, global celebration of yoga was led by PM Modi at the UN headquarters in New York.

With the visit sandwiched between two elections --- the just-concluded general election and the coming assembly election, for which preparations are in progress -- it also sends a positive signal in the country and across the world.

The visit is also expected to balance the widespread concern following a series of terror attacks in the Jammu region. The backlash by terrorists following the scrapping of Article 370 and the record voter turnout in Kashmir Valley has been followed by questions over security.

The Prime Minister's presence is meant to signal the government's confidence and the long-term plans it has for the peace and prosperity in Jammu and Kashmir.

The erstwhile state, which was split into two Union Territories in 2019, had its last state-level elections in 2014. In June 2018, the alliance government of the BJP and the People's Democratic Party collapsed as the BJP ended ties.

Now, sources say, preparations are progressing on a war footing at the Election Commission. The delimitation order of May 2022 created a 90-member Assembly, with 47 seats in Kashmir and 43 in Jammu.

The other big event on the cards for PM Modi's third term is the restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir, which many expect to be scheduled after the assembly election.