Denying the allegations that the Bharatiya Janata Party has taken any stand on abrogation of Article 370, state BJP in-charge and Rajya Sabha MP Avinash Rai Khanna has said Article 370 would not be an impediment in any developmental activity in the state and the BJP is committed to usher Jammu and Kashmir into a new era of development. He said government would pump in all resources to make J&K No1 state of the country. In an exclusive interview to Hindustan Times, Khanna talked on various issues concerning the state. Excerpts:
What is your stand on abrogation of Article 370?
Let’s have a debate on it. If it brings goodness and betterment for the people of the state, we would love to see it implemented in all other states of India, and if it causes harm let people take a call on it. Parties have created hype on the issue as per their own whims and fancies.
BJP’s tie-up with a separatist has created a fuss. Is the party wooing them for vote power in vale?
They are the class of people who want development and over the years due to misuse of power by the NC, PDP and Congress, they were being identified as the separate class. Whosoever wants to participate in the electoral process of the state as per the Constitution of India for development, as envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is always welcome.
Has Omar’s call and Soz’s endorsement on AFSPA removal dented your poll prospects?
When they were in government why they did not take the decision. Now since they have started realising that the BJP is coming to power with thumping majority in the state they have started crying foul. People need food, youth need employment and we are clinically focussed on it.
Cross-border terrorism and border shelling is a regular phenomenon here. How BJP thinks it will tackle it?
When a country gets a strong leader, many issues get solved automatically. It’s just like about a strong SHO (station house officer) taking over a police station and setting the mohalla or the region right. We are here for the security and integrity of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. I saw confidence on the faces of the people affected by border shelling who said that for first time they have got a government that retaliates to aggression with force.
Would you install a Hindu chief minister in J&K if the BJP is voted to power?
We never attached anything with Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christian. When Atal Bihari Vajpayee was prime minister, APJ Abdul Kalam was President and a Christian was defence minister. We will go by the democratic to elect the person to the post irrespective of religion to which he may belong.