'BJP ignoring real issues, using sentiments for votes'

NCP chief Sharad Pawar. (PTI File Photo)

NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday accused the ruling BJP of seeking votes by fanning sentiments by raising issues like revocation of Article 370 and the Pulwama terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir, and ignoring matters that concern people.

Pawar said his party would support any government that tackles terrorism.

That, however, was not enough and public concerns also need to be paid attention to, the former defence minister maintained.

Provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, were abrogated on August 5 by the Centre which also decided to reorganise the border state into two Union Territories.

A suicide bomber of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) had killed 40 CRPF personnel in Kashmir's Pulwama in February this year. In response to the attack, the Indian Air Force had struck a JeM terrorist training camp in Pakistan's Balakot area on February 26.

"Nobody is raising public concerns...if you ask them (the ruling BJP) what have they done for the country's development, they will talk about abrogation of Article 370, Pulwama attack," Pawar told a poll rally here in Sangli district of western Maharashtra.

Maharashtra NCP chief Jayant Patil, party's candidate from the Islampur Assembly segment, was also present on the occasion.

"They will ignore the issues which matter to people and delude people by fanning sentiments. This is how votes are being sought," the NCP chief noted.

Referring to Congress general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad's visit to Jammu and Kashmir, Pawar suggested that tourists' flow to the state from world over has dropped now.

Latching onto Azad's remarks post visit to his home state, Pawar said one doesn't get to see people on roads in Kashmir, businesses have collapsed there and local people are unable to run their families.

"And wherever they go, the people in the BJP say they did good things for Kashmir. It is not in our interest and unfortunately, that is what has happened there," Pawar said.

Azad on Monday asserted that an "environment of fear" is prevailing in Jammu and Kashmir with people suffering due to a "government-made disaster".

Azad, who returned from a six-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir recently, alleged the government restricted his movement despite Supreme Court orders and kept a close watch on those who came to visit him, even video graphing them as they came.

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister alleged that the Centre was using the local government for "repression".

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