On the last day of campaigning ahead of the second phase of parliamentary elections, addressing a rally in favour of party candidate Jitender Singh from Udhampur-Doda constituency, BJP national president Rajnath Singh here on Tuesday said Article 370 of the Constitution that granted special status to the state had only caused immense loss to the state instead of helping it.
Maintaining that the BJP considered Jammu and Kashmir as an integral part of India, Rajnath said, "We are against giving leverage to any anti-national elements. We are resolute in getting development to the poor population of the state, which they lack even after 67 years of independence."
He said, "We strongly condemn the questions being raised by the Congress and its allies regarding the status of Kashmir in India. Besides being a subject of integrity of India, Jammu and Kashmir strikes an emotional chord for the party as our founder Shyama Prasad Mookerjee became a martyr for the Kashmir cause. We want that J&K should progress on par with other states and if it develops because of Article 370, we have no objection in keeping it."
Hitting out at the ruling National Conference and the Congress for not addressing the problems of migrants and the refugees during the past more than four decades, Rajnath said those who had not been able to do this in 40 years had no right to stay in power at the Centre and in the state. He said the BJP would work towards finding solutions to their problems and give them voting power by bringing the refugee rehabilitation policy.
Rajnath said, "We want good relations with neighbouring countries but not at the cost of our sovereignty and integrity."
Expressing concern at the "worst-ever economic crisis" being faced by the country, the "deteriorating" law and order situation in the state, increasing cross-border terrorism and barbaric killing of Indian soldiers on the LoC, he held the UPA government responsible for these.
He accused the UPA government of "sitting silently" and taking no steps to check Chinese and Pakistani incursions into J&K, saying in case the party was voted to power, a free hand would be given to the forces so that no one dared touch the borders of the country.
Rajnath said, "Corruption is a disease afflicting the country, hence if India is to be made corruption-free, it should first be a Congress-free India. The Congress government has given the nation scam after scam."
He said secularism meant development for his party, while it meant vote-bank politics for the Congress.
Rajnath said the country remembered the NDA government under Atal Bihari Vajpayee. "The Congress has not given anything to the country; on the contrary, one should see the approach and vision adopted by former prime minister Vajpayee, who created a hope among the people of J&K. The country became nuclear power under Vajpayee and the inflation rate was under control," he added.
Rajnath said the party would try to consolidate the initiatives taken by Vajpayee and would launch programmes for the welfare of the unemployed youth and farmers.