After pushing J&K into turmoil, Amit Shah questions Congress’ nationalism

BJP President Amit Shah, addressing a rally in Jammu on Saturday, blamed former ally PDP for everything that is wrong with the strife-torn state.

IANS photo
IANS photo

Ashutosh Sharma

Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah on Saturday laid the roadmap for 2019 general elections at a rally in Jammu on Saturday, projecting the BJP as the only nationalist outfit, even as he billed the opposition parties as “anti-national.”

Speaking at the death anniversary of Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee, which came days after his party's decision to withdraw support from the People's Democratic Party (PDP)-led government in the state, he praised Mookherjee for “integrating” Jammu and Kashmir with rest of the India.

He also credited Modi government for killing more militants in Kashmir than previous governments but didn’t mentioned the spike in killings of civilians and security personnel, which have also increased manifold n the past four years.

The BJP chief took potshots on Congress over recent remarks made by Ghulam Nabi Azad and Saifuddin Soz over Kashmir. “Congress President Rahul Gandhi should apologize for the statements made by his party leaders and take action against them,” he demanded.

However, Congress in a quick rebuttal told Shah that his party had no business lecturing Congress on nationalism, accusing Modi government of betraying people of the state

Major takeaways from Shah’s speech at the rally:

  • The Common Minimum Programme of PDP-BJP coalition government was based on three important points. One, equitable development of all three regions of the state, including Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh; second, ending terrorism, and third, that Jammu and Kashmir progresses as an integral part of India. But PDP-led J&K government failed on all three fronts. We waited for 4 years but it had become impossible to tolerate it anymore.
  • How could we have continued supporting the government when Army jawan Aurangzeb was kidnapped and killed on Eid. An editor was shot dead outside his office. That's when we decided that we should rather protest in opposition.
  • Prime Minister Modi had promised an economic package of 80,000 crore. Though an amount of 60,000 crore had been released yet this amount was not spent in Jammu and Ladakh regions. So we decided to walk out of the government.
  • The state government could not implement multi-crore developmental projects in Jammu and Ladakh which included AIIMS, medical colleges and road infrastructure.
  • Even though the Modi government had released an amount of 2000 crores for PoK refugees—who had been denied compensation for the last 70 years—the government could disburse compensation amounting to only 5,000 crore. Similarly, West Pakistani refugees haven’t been provided financial assistance. Also, the government didn’t allow rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley despite release of funds.
  • The two families from National Conference and PDP have ruled J&K for three generations but never did anything for Pashmina or Pampore haat. They only plundered the state in association with the Congress.
  • PDP-led state coalition government did not allow us to give special reservation to the patriotic Gujjar-Bakerwal communities.

Maintaining that the BJP will never be able to realise the hard work which Congress-UPA did to usher peace in J&K, senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said that the BJP has “shamelessly squandered” the mandate and “shunned” their responsibility after plunging the state into a deep turmoil.

Surjewala said that, through an unethical opportunistic alliance marred with a troubled border, corruption and malgovernance in the last four years, BJP president Amit Shah was shedding crocodile tears in front of the people of Jammu.

Major takeaways from Surjewala’s statement on how Modi government at the Centre and BJP-PDP government betrayed the people of J&K:

  • In the past four years, national security was compromised. At least 16 major terror attacks took place on security installations that include CRPF camps, Army camps, Air Force Station and military stations like Pampore, Uri, Pathankot, Gurdaspur besides Amarnath Yatra.
  • Modi government invited ISI to investigate the Pathankot attack and  it is none less than BJP president, Amit Shah, who in a speech made on March 30, 2016, in Kolkata said that “Pakistan has made serious efforts in the Pathankot terror probe.”
  • Since May 26, 2014, during Modi government, in the last 48 months, 381 jawans have been martyred and 240 civilians have died in Jammu and Kashmir alone. During last 48 months of Congress government, 139 jawans martyred and 78 civilians killed.
  • Under PDP-Congress (2003-08) rule, 4,970 militants were killed by security forces. Under NC-Congress (2009-14): 925 militants were killed and under PDP-BJP (2015-18): 591 militants were killed.
  • In past 48 months, there have been 3000 ceasefire violations’ by Pakistan at the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) as compared to 563 Ceasefire Violations during last 48 months of Congress government.
  • PDP-BJP rule created an atmosphere of fear and radicalization amongst the youth of the state. The public lynching of DSP Ayub Pandith and the Kathua rape already shook the conscience of the nation. The recent horrific killing of an editor of a Kashmiri daily in the heart of Srinagar and the abduction and subsequent killing of Army Jawan, Aurangzeb are prime examples.
  • Schools were burnt; youths were forced out of work, and radicalization become rampant with stone pelting becoming almost like a profession. Alarming increase in stone pelting incidents have deteriorated the situation.
  • Hobnobbing with terrorist elements and separatists: On December, 14, 2016, the PDP-BJP coalition government announced compensation for slain Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani's elder brother, who was killed by the security forces in 2013. 4 lakh compensation and a government job from the state, was announced. May we ask the PDP-BJP, why did they announce such a compensation and made a mockery of the martyrdom of hundreds of our Jawans?
  • Tourism has dropped from 14.5 Lakh persons in 2012 to just 4.5 Lakh in 2016.  People of Jammu were promised AIIMS, IIM’s and medical colleges, which have not taken off.
  • BJP-PDP government did nothing for resettlement of Kashmiri Pandits. On the other hand, Congress-UPA built 5,242 more flats in Jammu for Kashmiri Pandits which were allotted, 1,024 such flats in Muthi, Purkhoo and Nagrota were being allotted since 2008.
  • People of Ladakh were betrayed by promising a UT Status and Hill Councils, but nothing materialized.

(The story was updated with minor edits at 5:14 PM).

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Published: 24 Jun 2018, 4:43 PM