In Kashmir, BJP says ‘committed to peace with Pakistan’

Srinagar: BJP Friday said it is committed to peace, prosperity and development in Jammu and Kashmir and wants peaceful relations with Pakistan after it comes to power at the Centre.
“We are committed to peace, progress and prosperity here.
We want peace even with the neighbouring country (Pakistan),” BJP leader Nitin Gadkari told reporters here.
The former BJP president said priority would be given to the state’s development and the party would not discriminate on the basis of caste, creed, language and religion.
“We are very much committed for the progress and development of Jammu and Kashmir. We want to fight poverty, hunger and unemployment here… I assure you that we don’t discriminate on the basis of caste, creed, language and religion and do not do politics on such issues,” he said.
Gadkari said the Congress and other “so-called secular” parties were “creating” a fear that BJP and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was against the minorities in the country for its political benefits.
“Unfortunately development and economic issues have never been the basis of politics here. As far as BJP and Modi are concerned, a fear is being created that we are against minority. It is the political game plan of the Congress party and the so-called secular parties.
“Justice will be done to everybody and everyone will get an opportunity of equal development and we will work with that in mind. We will give priority to the development of Jammu and Kashmir after BJP comes to power under Modi,” he said.
He said his party wants a debate on Article 370 which grants special autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir, though BJP does not want to take away the rights of the people here.
“It has been the stand of our party since long to revoke Article 370. We want a debate on that. If we want to remove unemployment, hunger and poverty from Jammu and Kashmir, then we will have to get technology and IT industries from outside the world. There is a very good atmosphere here and it will be beneficial.
“It does not mean that we are against the people here by revoking their special status or want to do injustice to them or take away their rights. There is no such thing in our heart. But the people of the state have to think over it for the development of the state,” he said.
On a question of Union minister and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah’s assertion that Kashmir will not remain with India if Article 370 is touched, Gadkari said he was trying to create a fear about Modi intentionally.
“He is wrong. Politics played by Farooq Abdullah or Congress and other parties which are pseudo-secularist… They are trying to create a fear about Modi intentionally and fear is the biggest capital for them,” he said.
On Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s challenge of a debate over the issue, Gadkari said Modi does not need to have a debate with Omar and the people will decide what is right.
“In this country, Sonia Gandhi worries about what will happen with Rahul Gandhi, Farooq Abdullah worries about Omar Abdullah and Mulayam Singh Yadav is worried about Akhilesh Yadav – this all is family politics. I am a person who used to paste posters and became president of the party on my work and merit. This is BJP. Debate happens in public. Let Omar speak on TV, people will decide. Modi does not need to have a debate with him. He (Omar) will say his own thing and we our own.
This family politics has made the country to suffer,” he said.