"Mere handshake is not enough as hearts should also meet," Singh said, while addressing public meetings in Uri, Kupwara and Pahalgam in Jammu and Kashmir through telephone from the city airport here.

The Home Minister, who was to address the public meetings in Uri, Karnah in Kupwara and Pahalgam in Anantnag districts on Friday ahead of the Assembly elections, did so over telephone as he could not travel there by air due to inclement weather.

Singh said the state has to be brought out of the shadow of terrorism as it should not turn into "hell" due to years of violence in the border state.

He lashed out at political parties in Kashmir for not ushering in development all these years and for pushing the state behind by decades and raising such issues only during elections to secure the votes of the people.

"Kashmir has to be brought out of the shadow of weapons and not allow it to turn into hell," he said. "Some political parties are talking of alienation and are creating a sense of fear among the people only to secure their votes. They forget about the real issue of development of the state when in power and raise the issue only during elections," he said.

The minister appealed to the people to "bring such a government in Jammu and Kashmir which does not intimidate you, threaten you, but give you your rights with honour".

Latest News from India News Desk