Mumbai: BJP president Amit Shah on Sunday squarely blamed India’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru for the existence of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and said Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India’s first home minister, should have handled the matter instead of Nehru.
Addressing a rally on the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370 in J&K at the NESCO complex in suburban Goregaon ahead of the state Assembly elections, Mr Shah said that had Nehru (who passed away in 1964) not declared an untimely ceasefire with Pakistan (in December 1948), PoK would not have come into the being.
Making it clear that the nullification of J&K’s special status would be the BJP’s main election plank in Maharashtra, which goes to the polls on October 21, Mr Shah urged the people of Mumbai and Maharashtra to show the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party their place for “opposing” the abrogation of Article 370 — a move which he claimed would pave the way for the “full and final integration of Jammu & Kashmir with India”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also spoken at length on Kashmir at a rally in Nashik last week.
Saying he was happy the state poll campaign was starting with a debate on the Article 370 issue, Mr Shah said the BJP and its predecessor, the jan Sangh, had been opposing it from the beginning.
Attacking Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, the BJP chief said they were shamelessly opposing the abrogation of Article 370.
Mr Shah said Mr Gandhi had claimed the matter was a political issue. “But it is not the case for us, as we have been fighting against Article 370 for the past three generations. People have laid down their lives for its abrogation. For us, it’s not a political issue. It is the integration of Bharat Mata. You may see politics in it, but for us it’s a matter of patriotism,” he said.
The BJP chief asked party workers visit every home in the state to inform voters about the decision. “I want to tell all BJP workers that our work doesn’t end with the removal of Article 370; our work starts now.
It is our target to take this country forward on to the chapter of nationalism and progress,” he added....