Article 370 not an issue in Haryana: Kumari Selja

Haryana Congress chief Kumari Selja. PTI Photo

Article 370 is not an issue in Haryana or among its people and can never become one there, Congress' state unit chief Kumari Selja said on Sunday, asserting that the people have "seen through the BJP's game" of diverting attention from real issues.

A day ahead of voting for the Haryana Assembly polls, Selja exuded confidence that the Congress will form the next government in the state as there has been a "rapid change" on the ground in favour of the party.

"Haryana's people have seen through their (BJP's) game of diverting attention. They talked about Article 370, National Register of Citizens (NRC). But as of today, the BJP has not been able to change the narrative according to its own will. They tried but there are so many issues in Haryana. We raised those issues and people have responded to that," she said at a press conference here.

Selja said the BJP knew its weakness in Haryana and from the very first day "tried to divert the attention of the people from real issues".

"Be it the PM (Narendra Modi) or other top BJP leaders or the Haryana CM, they did not talk about even one issue of Haryana because they know that they are on the back foot," she alleged.

"The people of Haryana said that first, you should give your report and then ask for vote. They could not give a report and tried to divert attention continuously," she said.

Asked if Congress has been successful in countering the BJP's nationalism pitch in the assembly polls campaign and the raising of Article 370, Selja said there is nothing nationalistic about it and it was a "political issue" as far as the BJP is concerned.

"The people of Haryana have made up their mind and are not going to swallow this. 'Kaath ki haandi baar baar nahi chadhti' (people cannot be duped twice), you have done it once.

"People have seen through this game. (Article) 370 is not an issue in Haryana and when we got the feedback from the people from our state, this was certainly not an issue," the Haryana Congress chief said.

The Congress refuses to get diverted by the BJP's agenda, she said.

"(Article) 370 is not an issue in Haryana, among its people, and neither it can become an issue for them. The issues of the people of Haryana that are related with them are their real issues," Selja asserted.

The BJP has been raising the issue of abrogation of Article 370 provisions, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, in the Haryana and Maharashtra assembly polls campaign.

Top BJP leaders, including party chief Amit Shah, have raised the issue in their poll speeches and hit out at the opposition over it.

Asked if former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda could be in line for chief ministership, Selja said the Congress has not projected anyone as its CM candidate and a decision will be taken by the high command when the time comes. 

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