Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Bipin Rawat on Friday, October 25, said the abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir will ensure better development in the region. "With the abrogation of this Article, we are confident that we will witness better development, better job opportunities, better people to people contact and finally, a better amalgamation of the state Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of India." General Rawat was speaking while paying homage to the late Field Marshall K. M Cariappa in Delhi.
He also pointed out that financial assistance provided to the state government from the Centre over the years didn't produce any concrete development on the ground. "I think it is for us to understand that Jammu and Kashmir as a state have been getting four times the share of financial support than what our states are getting. But the development and all the other HR indexes that are used to measure the kind of development that has taken place, has not even been twice that of the BIMARU state. So what we are trying to say is that the proportionate expenditure of the government in the state, it has not seen the kind of benefits that should have emerged," said General Rawat adding, "And, therefore, it was time to abrogate this Article to ensure that the people of Jammu and Kashmir are able to reap the benefits that are rightly due to them".
The COAS was honouring the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army – Field Marshal Kodandera Madappa Cariappa. Cariappa famously led Indian forces on the Western Front during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 and was appointed Army Chief during 1965 Indo-Pak war. He shares the honour of being one of only two Indian Army officers to hold the five-star rank of field marshal along with Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw.
The Army Chief's remark comes after a day when the maiden Block Development Council elections held in Jammu and Kashmir recorded a massive 98.3 per cent voters turnout. This has set a precedent that the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir have chosen progress and structured governance over terrorism and separatist mindsets. "98.3% polling was recorded in J&K", Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shailendra Kumar said.