BJP softens stand on abrogation of Article 370

BJP softens stand on abrogation of Article 370

Modi seeks debate on J&K special status

BJP softens stand on abrogation  of Article 370

BJP prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called for a discussion on the pros and cons of Article 370 of the Constitution that gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir, softening the party stand on scrapping the provision.

Addressing his first public rally here after being nominated as prime ministerial candidate by the BJP he said, “At least discussion should have been held to assert whether Article 370 is benefiting the people of J&K or not. Jawaharlal Nehru had said that the special status to the state would gradually be removed. Is your (Congress) government ready to do what Nehruji had said?”

Modi’s latest views mark a departure from BJP’s stated position seeking complete abrogation of Article 370.

Earlier, BJP president Rajnath Singh in his speech had expressed similar views saying that if Article 370 proves to be beneficial for J&K, his party would stand by it.

In his 40-minute speech at the highly guarded M A Stadium here, Modi pointed out that Congress talks about “secularism” and it is as if all their sins are washed away. “In J&K one thing is added and that is Article 370,” he said.

Like in most of his rallies, the firebrand BJP leader put questions here to the crowd that whether various Acts pledged by Congress are being implemented in the state or not and aren’t J&K politicians covered head to toe in corruption.

“The whole country is angry over rising corruption. Is there not rampant corruption in J&K? Should corruption prevention law be there for J&K or not? The Congress is taking credit for the Acts in rest of the country, but I want to ask whether those acts are being implemented in J&K. Shouldn’t people of J&K get similar rights of what Dalits and other tribes are getting all over the country, ” he asked.

“They don’t want any accountability that’s why the law is not being implemented,” he added.

Blaming successive Congress governments for encouraging separatism in J&K, Modi said that for the 60 years in the name of separate state, Kashmir got nothing but destruction.

“Wouldn’t it have been better if they would have focused on creating a super state? They (separatists) talk about separate state but what did people get? Nothing and there is no accountability also,” he said and questioned people present in the rally whether they want separate or super state.

“In the name of separate state, only 50 families have gained if you look back in history while rest of the Kashmir got ignored,” he added.

The Gujarat chief minister pointed to the absence of laws in the state to ensure that women were on the same platform as men when it came to rights.

 “I am not talking about Hindus or Muslims I am talking about the people of J&K.
Development comes when there is integration.  The rights that your Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has, does his sister, Sarah enjoy those rights? No, because she married outside J&K.

“How long this dual policy will continue? Shouldn’t women of J&K have the same rights as men have,” he asked.

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