Will carry forward Vajpayee’s Kashmir policy, says Modi

Hiranagar, Jammu: BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Wednesday promised to carry forward the policies of former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to “change the fate of Kashmir”.
“The path shown by Vajpayee—humanity, democracy and Kashmiriyat—we will carry forward,” Modi said while addressing the first “Bharat Vijay Rally” here.
He said that if Vajpayee government had got another five years, “it would have changed the face of Kashmir and problems would have ended.”
His comments assume significance as pro-India political parties of the state including ruling National Conference and opposition PDP as well as pro-freedom Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq have, of late, been praising the Vajpayee government for its initiatives relating to Kashmir.
Modi, who paid obeisance at Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine ahead of his address, neither made any reference to Article 370 this time nor replied to the challenge thrown by state Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for discussing it.
He however targeted Defence Minister A K Antony and Arvind Kejriwal, calling them “agents of Pakistan and enemies of India.”
“Three AKs have emerged as a unique strength for Pakistan. One is AK-47 which has been used to cause bloodshed in Kashmir. The second is A K Antony, who informs Parliament that people wearing the dress of Pak Army beheaded our soldiers while our Army says Pakistanis had come. Who do you want to benefit with your statement?”
He took a dig at Kejriwal, who resigned after 49 days as Chief Minister in Delhi, as the “Third AK which is AK-49 who has just given birth to a new party”, a clear reference to the 49 days Kejriwal spent as Delhi Chief Minister.
“The map on his party’s website has shown Kashmir in Pakistan. A senior member of his party is shouting himself hoarse demanding plebiscite in Kashmir. Pakistan is dancing over their statements. These agents of Pakistan, enemy of India, you are speaking the language of Pakistan,” Modi said.
He was referring to AAP leader Prashant Bhushan’s comments some months ago that a referendum should be held to decide the fate of Kashmir.
Invoking Jan Sangh founder Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, Modi accused them of speaking the language of Pakistan while Mookerjee had “sacrificed his life for Jammu and Kashmir. More Indian soldiers have sacrificed their lives here than in any war,” he said.
He attacked Antony over his statement made in Parliament last year when Pakistani Armymen had allegedly intruded into Mendhar sector in Jammu and Kashmir and killed two Indian soldiers, beheading one of them.
This was the second rally addressed by Modi in Jammu region. He had addressed a rally on December one last year during which he had stirred a controversy by demanding a dialogue on Article 370 which guarantees a special status to the state.
However, after he was challenged by state Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for a discussion on Article 370, both BJP as well as Modi never raked up the issue again.
Modi also kept the pressure of on Congress’ face for these elections Rahul Gandhi. “Shehzaada says Congress ek sock hai. Congress sock mien padh gayi hai ki yeh chaiwala kahaan se aa gaya,” Modi said.
Hiranagar had been hit by a suspected militant attack on September 26 last year in which a top Army officer was among 11 soldiers, cops and civilians killed besides three militants.
Hiranagar is a part of the Udhampur parliamentary seat. BJP candidate Jitender Singh will be taking on Congress heavyweight and Union minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is contesting general elections for the first time.—PTI