BJP no threat to Article 370, secularism: Naqvi

Mir Farhat

BJP leader and Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi addressing a public rally in Kulgam distict on Sunday.
BJP leader and Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi addressing a public rally in Kulgam distict on Sunday.

SRINAGAR, Nov 30: Bhartiya Janata Party today said that there is neither any threat to Article 370 of Indian Constitution granting special status to Jammu and Kashmir nor there is any threat to secular character of the country.
“Article 370 has been made a hide by political parties here. Who has said (in BJP) that Article 370 will be abrogated by the party? We have never said we will remove it,” BJP leader and Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters in Devsar, Kulgam after addressing a poll rally. He said that the article was not facing any threat because of the BJP being in power.
“Before we were elected by people, some political parties said that BJP will be a threat to secularism and Article 370. Neither secularism has any threat nor has Article 370,” Naqvi said. He said some political parties are trying to create an illusion among people for political gains that BJP will remove Article 370.
The BJP leader who also addressed a poll rally in Homshalibugh to garner votes for its candidates Fayaz Bhat and Ghulam Nabi Dar, said the BJP is not contesting elections on the issue of abrogating Article 370.
“We have said there can be discussions and debate on the issue. We are a democratic country and there can be a discussion over it. It is not a religious script which cannot be discussed,” Naqvi said.
Lashing out at the State-level political parties for wagging the issue of Article 370 during poll campaigns, the minister said the political parties in Jammu and Kashmir are raking it up “only to hide their scandals and loot which they have unleashed here”.
Naqvi said the ongoing elections in the state were different than previous elections as “people want a change”. He said people have rejected the non issues raised by the NC, PDP and Congress, who are trying to “befool” them.
“The atmosphere and mood of the people has changed. People want to vote on the issues of security, development, prosperity and good governance. The political parties are raising issues which have expired and have been rejected by the people,” the BJP leader said. He said some political parties are riding and on the plank of secularism and using secularism as political crutches to seek votes.
“Such parties are suffering from depression. That is why they are raising the issues of dangers to secularism and Article 370. We have made it clear that this election will be fought on the issues of development, security and prosperity,” Naqvi said.
Slamming Pakistan, Naqvi said that the country has been isolated because it has become a factory of terror. “Youth don’t see that light of development will be produced by the factory of terror. There is only destruction coming out from such a factory. Our efforts will be to see a secure Kashmir where youth have full employment avenues,” he said.
The Minister said those who have been in power in the State had filled their own coffers with the money from the centre and the party would not compromise with corruption and scams.
He said they will be dealt as per law and will find themselves not holidaying abroad but behind jails.
“Those people who are involved in corruption and scams will not be able to visit London or the US after the elections, but will find themselves in jails. They will be held accountable,” he said.

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