Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and chief of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Amit Shah, display copies of their party's election manifesto for the April/May general election in New Delhi, India, April 8, 2019 (Photo: REUTERS/Adnan Abidi).


BJP chief Amit Shah on Thursday (2) claimed the Congress and National Conference wanted Kashmir’s separation from India, and vowed to scrap Article 370 if his party is voted back to power.

Shah addressed three rallies in Madhya Pradesh, where three phases of Lok Sabha polls are yet to be held.

Speaking at Ashta in Dewas Lok Sabha constituency, Shah said, “If elected to power again, Article 370 (which gives a special status to Jammu and Kashmir) will be wiped out from its roots.”

On National Conference leader Omar Abdullah’s demand for a separate PM for J&K, Shah said the Congress also wanted a separate PM for Kashmir.

“The Congress and the National Conference wanted to separate Kashmir from Hindustan. But the Modi government will never allow secession (of J&K) from India,” he said.

Even if Modi did not return to power, BJP workers will not allow Kashmir to secede, he said. “No BJP worker will let such a thing happen. We will scrap Article 370 if you make Modi the PM again,” he added.

On Congress’ promise to scrap the sedition law, he said, “The Congress is siding with those who shouted anti- national slogans. You talk about scrapping the sedition law. Tell me, if someone is caught spying for Pakistan, should action be taken under sedition law or not?”

“Anti-national slogans like ‘Bharat Tere Tukde Honge’ were shouted in JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University) Shouldn’t these people be sent to jail?” he said.

Shah slammed Congress leader Sam Pitroda’s statement that India should hold talks with Pakistan.

“Rahul Baba’s (Congress president Rahul Gandhi) guru Sam Pitroda made a statement…tell me, should we talk to those who killed our 40 jawans or should we attack them? Congress says we should talk to them. Rahul Baba, you be happy with your policy. This is Narendra Modi government which will reply to gun fire with a bombshell,” the BJP leader said.

Shah said people should not vote for the party for development if they so wish, but they must vote for Modi as he strengthened the country’s security.

Speaking at Biora in Rajgarh district, Shah credited Modi for the UN Security Council designating JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.

“Masood Azhar carried out several bomb blasts for several years. Nobody could get him declared an international terrorist. But yesterday was a golden day as he was declared a global terrorist,” he said.

“Narendra Modi has isolated Pakistan in the world with his diplomacy. The entire world now stand with India and is supporting our country on the issue of (actions taken in) self-defense,” Shah said.

“During the UPA rule, there would be no response to terror attacks. After the Pulwama terror attack, there was anger and despair….But prime minister Narendra Modi ordered the IAF (to respond), which went deep inside Pakistan and destroyed terror camps,” the BJP chief said.

“When the country was rejoicing (over the air strikes), there was mourning in two places – in Pakistan and in Rahul Gandhi-led Congress. Should we not bomb the perpetrators of the Pulwama attack,” he asked.

Listing achievements of the NDA government such as the Ayushman Bharat scheme, Shah said, “I have seen Modi not taking a single day’s leave in the last 20 years…He works 18 out of 24 hours for 365 days….On the other hand, Rahul Gandhi takes a long leave as temperature soar. Even his mother keeps searching for him.”

Taking potshots at the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh, Shah alleged that within three months of it coming to power, transactions worth Rs 281 crore were unearthed during income tax raids at the premises of those close to chief minister Kamal Nath, and asked what will happen in five years.

Addressing a rally at Neemuch, Shah said under the Narendra Modi regime, a bullet fired by Pakistan will be met with a shell from India’s side.

The Manmohan Singh government did not say a word when terrorists from Pakistan “beheaded Indian jawans”, he alleged.

He alleged that the entire country celebrated India’s retaliation in Balakot after the Pulwama terror attack, but Congress leaders were sad because “their vote-bank was sad”.

“This is a BJP government. Narendra Modi is prime minister. If a bullet is fired from Pakistan, India will respond with a (bomb) shell,” he said.