Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacts with the beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana in Uttar Pradesh, via video conferencing, in New Delhi on Thursday. Image Credit: ANI

Delhi/Srinagar:  India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that August 5 will be remembered in history.

The date, he said marked three significant developments in the country. It marked the second anniversary of the abrogation of Article 370 and also a year of laying the foundation stone of the Ayodhya Ram Temple. Today, also marked the triumph of the Indian men’s hockey team over Germany in the Tokyo Olympics, said Modi.

“Two years ago on this day, Article 370 was abrogated in Jammu and Kashmir. On this day last year, the first step was taken towards the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. Today, construction of a grand Ram Temple is underway”, Modi said. The Prime Minister was addressing with beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana in Uttar Pradesh through videoconferencing.

The federal government had abrogated Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the region into two union territories in August 2019. The PM said since the abrogation of Article 370, there has been unprecedented peace and progress in Jammu and Kashmir.

On the official account of Narendra Modi’s personal website, a tweet said: “A historic day. Two years ago, on this day, the first big step towards a #NewJammuKashmir was taken. Since then, there has been unprecedented peace & progress in the region. Head to Your Voice section of Volunteer module on NaMo App for informative content, graphics and more!.”

The PM also criticized opposition parties for stalling Parliament over the Pegasus snooping and other issues and said that they cannot stop the country from marching forward.

Terming their action as anti-national the PM said the opposition seemed to be working with the sole intention of creating roadblocks to the path of development.

PM Modi in his videoconference address also hit out at the opposition stating that while the country was scoring goal after goal, there were some who were trying to score self-goals to meet their political agenda.

Earlier in the day, PM Modi congratulated Indian men’s hockey team and its Australian coach Graham Reid. He spoke to skipper Manpreet Singh and the support staff after the team won a bronze medal at the Olympic Games.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a plaque to mark the laying of the foundation stone and also released a commemorative postage stamp on ‘Shree Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir’ on August 5, 2019.

Meanwhile, troops manned checkpoints in parts of Srinagar carrying out security checks on people and vehicles, witnesses said.

Kashmir’s police chief, Vijay Kumar, told Reuters that no extra security measures had been levied, adding that conditions were normal, including Internet links, often severed in the past to forestall protests.

“But our surveillance system has been increased,” he added, without giving details.

A minister in Modi’s office, Jitendra Singh, said Kashmir was better off fully integrated with India, where its special laws had resulted in an unhealthy divide.

“Today such distinctions are history,” he wrote in the Indian Express newspaper.