Opposition must be ashamed for saying Article 370 has no relation with Maharashtra polls, says Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an election rally at Kurukshetra on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an election rally at Kurukshetra on Tuesday.

Continuing his diatribe against the Congress and the Sharad Pawar-led NCP for opposing the BJP-led government’s move on Article 370, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the two Opposition parties ought to be ashamed for stating that the issue had no relation with the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly election.

Addressing an election rally in Akola district, Mr. Modi further alleged that the Opposition did not wish for a ‘greater, united India’ and instead secretly desired a divided India for their selfish political ends.

“Look at their shamelessness… they [Congress-NCP] are saying that Article 370 has no relation with Maharashtra’s polls. That Jammu and Kashmir has no relation with Maharashtra. To such people [Opposition parties], I want to say that the entire country stands with the people of Kashmir in combating cross-border terrorism,” he said, adding that there was no district in Maharashtra that did not produce soldiers who laid their lives for the cause of bringing peace to Jammu and Kashmir.

Selfish politics

“With Shivaji’s mantra of self-sacrifice, these brave warriors [soldiers from Maharashtra] have been laying down their lives in the snowy lands of Kashmir and preserving the country’s security… We are proud of these martyrs. So, how dare the Opposition parties say that the abrogation of [provisions of] Article 370 has nothing to do with Maharashtra… their thinking pains me,” said the Prime Minister, accusing the Opposition of wallowing themselves in selfish politics and being concerned only with their families’ interests.

During his address, he claimed that the public was very happy with the abrogation of provisions of Article 370, but that the Opposition had drawn long faces.

The Prime Minister rhetorically asked the audience: “Don’t you’ll agree with what we [BJP-led NDA government] did with Article 370? Hasn’t Modi done the right thing? Wasn’t this an essential step for the country’s unity?”

Remarking that the BJP government was founded on the inspiration, self-sacrifice and thrust on social equality and nationalist fervour propounded by leaders such as Maratha king Shivaji, reformer Mahatma Phule, B.R. Ambedkar and Veer Savarkar, he lashed out at the Congress for having denied the Bharat Ratna to Dr. Ambedkar for so long and for hurling abuse on Mr. Savarkar. “These are the very people who had insulted Ambedkar at every step and had kept him away from the Bharat Ratna for so many decades…they hurled abuse on Veer Savarkar. It is the values of Veer Savarkar that our government has imbibed in its nation-building process,” he said.

Establish an even stronger government

The Prime Minister’s remarks come a day after the Maharashtra BJP’s election manifesto pushed for awarding the Bharat Ratna to Vinayak Damodar ‘Veer’ Savarkar.

He further ticked off the Congress for its “ill-will” shown towards Dr. Ambedkar for his alleged opposition to Article 370.

Stating that he had come to Akola to seek the blessings of the public to establish an even stronger government in the State, Mr. Modi claimed that the last five years had proved that it was only the BJP-Sena coalition that could propel the State to the heights of development.

“Before the BJP-Sena regime, the public has seen a government whose sole aim was their personal benefit and that of their family…In contrast, the objective of the Fadnavis government has been the State’s development,” he said, taking potshots at the 15-year regime of the Congress-NCP in Maharashtra.

Remarking that vote-bank politics had proved to be the bane of the State, he said that before the BJP regime, Mumbai and the rest of the State had been in the grip of bombs and terrorism.

Questioning how the masterminds of bomb blasts and terror strikes were allowed to get away and settle abroad, Mr. Modi said: “Now, it is coming to the fore as to what relation those in power had with these masterminds… the public, too, wants to know. Hence, the Opposition began defaming probe agencies as they foresaw the trouble that was coming to them.”

Social and economic transformation

Asserting that the people in Vidarbha ardently desired social and economic transformation, he claimed that it was the BJP government’s drive towards development that had improved the lives of farmers and citizens in the region.

“Before 2014, Akola district used to face load-shedding for 18 hours. But that has changed with the BJP-led NDA government’s electrification drive. Earlier, packages used to be announced for Vidarbha, but the money never reached beneficiaries and instead went into the hands of middlemen. Now, through the PM Kisan Samman scheme, around ₹2,000 crore has been deposited directly into the farmers’ bank accounts, which has benefited those in Akola and Vidarbha,” Mr. Modi claimed.

The Prime Minister commenced his election campaign by holding public meetings in Jalgaon and Bhandara districts on October 13. He is scheduled to hold two crucial rallies in Satara and Pune on Thursday.

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Printable version | Jun 29, 2022 12:50:50 pm |