BJP announces month-long outreach programme on its Kashmir move
The Bharatiya Janata Party will launch a month-long countrywide outreach during September to create awareness about reasons behind the government’s decision to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status and create two union territories, two union ministers announced on Monday. BJP leaders will also meet noted personalities from various fields in different parts of the country, they said.
Senior ministers, parliamentarians and top BJP leaders will hold public meetings in 35 big cities and 370 Tier 1 and 2 towns during September. Nine places, including four in the Kashmir valley, have been chosen in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir for the exercise, scheduled to be held between September 1 and 30. The towns in Kashmir chosen for the programme are Srinagar, Anantnag, Baramulla and Sopore.
Parliament last month approved a bill to turn Article 370 ‘ineffective’, following which article 35(A) also ceased to exist. Abrogation of Article 370 has been a long standing promise of the BJP and the Jan Sangh.
The BJP campaign comes ahead of the announcement of election in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand, which will go to polls between October and December. The BJP is in power in all three states.
“People waited for decades to see ‘one-nation-one-constitution’ dream actualise,” union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strong will power has made it possible.”
Asked what was the need for the party to launch such a programme as the government’s decision had received public support at large, Shekhawat said there was a need to inform the masses about the significance of the development.
The minister said entire world has realised that Article 370 and 35(A) were at the root of the problem of terrorism that Kashmir fought for last three decades. “Their removal will pave the way to end terrorism in the region,” Shekhawat said. He said with ‘one-nation-one constitution’ in force, all central laws for the welfare of citizens will now apply to the northern state.
There have been few instances in post Independent India that entire country has united for a single cause, union minister Dharmendra Prasad said. “One such moment is before us today,” Pradhan said, adding that the government’s decision on Kashmir received overwhelming support across political and ideological divide.
He said home minister Amit Shah made an elaborate speech in the two houses of Parliament about the different aspect of the matter and Prime Minister Modi addressed the nation on Kashmir issue. It is now the BJP’s responsibility to explain all these points to intellectuals and policy makers, Pradhan said.