New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the audience of his first campaign rally in Srinagar on Monday he was in Jammu and Kashmir to share their sorrows, seeking to strike an emotional chord in the middle of nearly month-long elections to the state assembly.

Urging voters to elect a majority government of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Jammu and Kashmir, Modi said that both the Congress party and the National Conference have let down the people of the state.

“I have come here to share your sorrows. As the pradhan sewak (prime servant), your sorrows are mine, your pain is mine and your problems are mine," Modi said.

“(Former prime minister and BJP leader) Atal Bihari Vajpayee saw a dream and it is my responsibility to complete it. He talked about insaniyat (humanity), Kashmiriyat (spirit of Kashmir) and jamooriyat (democracy) and on these three pillars, Kashmir will move ahead on the path of development in the 21st century," he added.

The Prime Minister stressed promotion of tourism in the state and added that the generation of electricity through hydel power could create more jobs.

“There have been two generations of youth which have led troubled lives because of unemployment," he said.

Modi also recalled that he has visited the state every month ever since the BJP-led government took office in May, adding that he spent the festival of Diwali in Kashmir earlier this year “to share the sorrows" of the state after devastating floods.

“When the state was hit with floods, the state government here was sleeping.... People here told me not to send money to the state government but to their (people’s) bank accounts directly. They do not believe their state government, but they believe Modi," he said.

The BJP is aiming to form a majority government in the state and its leadership has launched what it calls Mission 44+—a bid to reach the simple majority mark in the 87-member Jammu and Kashmir assembly.

Elections to two states—Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand—are being held in five phases, with identical dates for both. The polling dates are 25 November, 2 December, 9 December, 14 December and 20 December. The votes will be counted on 23 December.

Addressing another rally at Samba in the state, Modi said that a finger pressed on an electronic voting machine (EVM) is more powerful than the one on an AK-47 trigger. He also said the resettlement of displaced people is a national responsibility and his government will ensure that those who have been displaced are rehabilitated.

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