(Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hit back at critics of his government’s decision to revoke the autonomy of Kashmir, saying its special status had only led to terrorism and separatism.

The move will allow Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh to play a meaningful role in India’s development, Modi said while addressing the nation on Independence Day from New Delhi’s 17th-century Red Fort.

Modi faces a raft of serious challenges in his second term in government. He needs to bring back normalcy in the restive Kashmir region, create jobs for aspiring youth, reduce hardship among millions of impoverished farmers, continue pushing welfare programs for the poor and revive India’s slowing economy.

In the general election that finished in May, Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party secured a landslide victory, making him the country’s first premier to be re-elected with a majority since 1984.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ronojoy Mazumdar in Mumbai at rmazumdar7@bloomberg.net;Bibhudatta Pradhan in New Delhi at bpradhan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Ruth Pollard at rpollard2@bloomberg.net, Ravil Shirodkar

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