‘We could have formed a govt in JK through deception when Vajpayee was PM, but we let the people choose their leaders’
Srinagar: The BJP on Monday said the decision on the revocation of Article 370 and the AFSPA will be taken in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“The issues like AFSPA and Article 370 are in the court of public. Whatever the public will demand, we will decide about it accordingly. We will honour the sentiments of the public,” BJP Member of Parliament Avinash Rai Khanna told Kashmir Reader at the sidelines of a party convention here.
The saffron party has made conflicting statements about the removal of Article 370. While some of its leaders have said Article 370, which accords the ‘special status’ to J&K under the Indian Constitution, will go if it has enough seats of its own in the state Assembly, others have laced their rhetoric with ambiguity as the elections near.
Asked if his party was confident of winning 44 plus seats in a state where a majority of people regard it as an anti-Muslim force, Khanna said, “Who says we are anti-Muslim? We have fielded five Muslims in Jammu.”
Khanna, who is BJP’s in charge of J&K, said during his visits to villages and towns in the Valley, he has realised that “all previous governments have misled and cheated Kashmiris and it was the time to teach them a lesson”.
The regional pro-India parties, he said, speak one language in Kashmir and another in New Delhi. He said only his party speaks the truth.
“When Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the PM, he tried to heal the wounds of Kashmiris. He gave them a right to vote for anybody. That time our government was in place and we could have formed our government through deception. But we didn’t. We let the people choose their leaders,” he said.
On the occasion, BJP’s candidate for Khanyar constituency Ashok Bhat said the youth were “made stone pelters and exploited by vested interests”.
“Nelson Mandela (nickname of a youth from Maisuma) was a known stone pelter. He had suffered six bullets. I did a ‘havan’ in Habba Kadal and invited him there. Many opposed it. However, he became the first youngster to join BJP,” he said.
Bhat also accused the National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party of distributing money among the people in the Khanyar constituency.
“At Nowpora, PDP gave Rs 2000-5000 to people. We can’t give you money, but we will give you a life with dignity. We will get rid of what you have gone through since 1947. This is our motive,” he said.