The Bold Voice of J&K

Don’t rake up Article 370 during polls: Rajnath

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rajnath singh

Agency
PADDAR: Calling the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution a national issue, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said it was a matter of debate and should not be raked up during Assembly elections for vote bank politics.
“It (Article 370) is (a) national issue. It is a matter of debate. BJP’s stand on it is clear. There is no need to rake up this issue during Assembly polls…,” Singh told a public meeting in remote Paddar belt of Kishtwar District.
Singh, who is on a campaign trail in support of his party candidates Sunil Sharma in Kishtwar Assembly seat and Daleep Kumar in Bhadarwah, asked political parties not to rake it up during Assembly elections for vote bank politics.
The Union Home Minister said his party would focus on good governance devoid of corruption, development and making Jammu and Kashmir a model of peace and development.
Singh said his party was ready for a debate on abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir, “but in Assembly elections our focus is on good governance and development”.
At Bhadarwah, Rajnath said the BJP-led government at the Centre has been able to keep inflation under check. He said fuel prices kept rising under the previous UPA regime, whereas under the incumbent BJP-led NDA, they have fallen consistently.
Singh asked, “Isn’t it true that there has hardly been any month which did not witness a hike in fuel prices during the previous government’s rule? Isn’t it true that for the first time, petrol and diesel prices are coming down every month after the new government came to power?”
The Home Minister further alleged that Islamabad has not undertaken any development work in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), and accused the latter of disrupting peace at the border by indulging in ceasefire violations.
“I believe that PoK is still a part of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan always talks about the Kashmir issue on the international arena, but if you see PoK, Pakistan has done no development there,” he said.
The Election Commission had last month announced five-phase polling in Jammu and Kashmir beginning from 25th November. The elections in the State will take place on 25th November, 2nd December, 9th December, 14th December and 20th December. The counting of votes will take place on 23rd December.
The term of the 87-member Jammu and Kashmir Assembly expires on 19th January, 2015.
Referring to border incursion, Singh said Pakistan was forced to take United Nation’s refuge to stop retaliatory action by India  action by India in the wake of repeated ceasefire violations.
“They (Pakistan) went to request the United Nations Security Council to ask India to stop (retaliatory action),” Singh said.
“It was the policy of the Congress government to show only white flags even if Pakistan side killed every Indian. We asked the DG BSF to give a befitting reply to the Pakistani side,” he said.
“After ceasefire violations on the International Border by the Pakistani side, I asked the Director General of BSF as to how they have responded. He replied that we (Indian side) are showing white flag as we want to hold dialogue with Pakistan,” he said.
Singh said he then ordered the DG BSF to give Pakistan a befitting reply to the ceasefire violations.
He said it was because of the befitting reply from the Indian side that Pakistan was forced to appeal to the United Nation. “They went to request the United Nations Security Council to ask India to stop,” he said.
Singh said some people were trying to create communal tension. “But, we say that we have special affection for the people of Kashmir that is why post floods, I and Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself went to see the situation in the Valley,” he said.
He said Modi was so moved by the plight of the people of Kashmir that he not only sanctioned Rs 1,000 crore for the flood-hit people, but also offered to extend help to residents of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
“The Prime Minister asked the Pakistan government to allow us to help the flood affected people of PoK as well,” he said.
He said that India strongly maintained that PoK belonged to India and would welcome if it once again decides to return to India.
He said Pakistan has been trying hard to raise the Kashmir issue at the international level, “But, we say that they have completely destroyed the PoK area which is with them.”
Singh said India always wanted good relations with its neighbours, including Pakistan and China. (PTI)

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