The controversial Article 370 providing a special status to J-K will have mention in the BJP’s election manifesto, but it may not be central to the party’s poll campaign. Instead, providing a “corruption free” administration to propel “development” of the region would top the party’s election agenda.
Home minister Rajnath Singh said in Leh, “Article 370 is a national issue for us and there should be an extensive debate over its utility. There are certain parties which raise the issue of Article 370 during elections as they want to create a sense of fear among certain voters. Those parties should discuss the issues of governance and development in the state.”
Singh, however, admitted Article 370 was an obstacle in the implementation of many schemes and projects in J-K, leading to under development of the state. BJP chief Amit Shah, too, expressed similar sentiments in a different election rally in Ramban.
Without referring to Article 370, he said, “These elections are crucial as far as the complete integration of J-K with the rest of the country is concerned.”
In New Delhi, the party chose a cautious line to articulate its position. “There could be many issues in an election, but we stress on a few of them. A corruption free and development oriented administration would be our focus area in J-K,” party spokesman Syed Shahnawaz Hussain said.