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Sonia, Rahul should clarify stand on Kashmir separatists, Rohingyas: Amit Shah

The BJP chief says Congress is supporting those who are raising ‘Azadi’ slogans; also raises corruption issue

assembly elections Updated: Oct 31, 2017 18:49 IST
Naresh K Thakur
Naresh K Thakur
Hindustan Times, Dharamshala
Himchal elections,Amit Shah,BJP
BJP national president Amit Shah (right) with the party’s Jawali candidate Arjun Singh in Kangra during an election rally. (Shyam Sharma/HT)

BJP national president Amit Shah, who started his five-day tour to Himachal on Monday, slammed Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi and said that they should clarify the party’s stand on separatists in Kashmir and the illegal migration of Rohingyas.

Addressing an election rally at Banikhet of Dalhousie asssembly segment in Chamba district, the BJP chief said that Congress leaders are supporting those who are raising slogans of “Azadi”(independence) in Kashmir.

Asking the audience whether they support the people who raise freedom slogans in Kashmir, the BJP president said thousands of brave soldiers belonging to the hill state had made the supreme sacrifice “due to Kashmir problem”.

Hitting out at former finance minister P Chindambram’s statement on autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir, Shah said it was Chidambram who wrote a letter to the Prime Minister, seeking him to allow Rohingyas refugees into Indian Territory. “Why should Rohingyas be allowed to enter India when the government is maintaining that they are a threat to national security,” said Shah.

The BJP president said Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi should clear their stand on the issue.

Attacks Congress over corruption

Later, addressing a public meeting at Chalwara village in Jawali assembly segment of Kangra district, Shah said, “The Himachal election is slated for November 9 and results will be declared on December 18 but, I already know the result.” “People of Himachal want change,”said Shah, adding that the change should not be in the government but rather in the system so that Himachal emerges as a model state.

Shah said Himachal has a lot of potential in tourism, agriculture and power, but no development has taken place as people alternated the government every five years. “So this time, give a verdict that the Congress is eliminated forever and such a government is formed which steers Himachal in the right direction and makes it a number 1 state,” he said.

Hitting out at chief minister Virbhadra Singh, the BJP chief said, not just Virbhadra, his family and even servants are facing corruption charges.

Citing a CAG report, Shah said, the Virbhadra-led Himachal government raised loans worth ₹20,000 crore and a whole amount was embezzled by way of wasteful expenditure. “Mafia is ruling the roost in Himachal and Virbhadra wears all allegations against him as badges of honour,” Shah alleged.

Taking potshots at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Shah said he was seeking account from the BJP government in Gujarat. “I want to ask you Rahul Baba! Your family has been winning from Amethi for three generations but could not build a collectorate building or even a hospital there and you are seeking accounts from us,” said Shah. “Rahul does not know how many soldiers Himachal has given to the country, because such things are not written in Italian,” the BJP chief said.

“You have to give answer to those soldiers who sought One Rank, One Pension (OROP) from your grandmother, your father and then your mother,” Shah said. He said the Modi government gave OROP within a year of coming into power.

Alleging that the Congress only promoted corruption, Shah said scams worth ₹12 lakh thousand crore took place during the UPA regime. “In last three years, not a single scam has come to light,” he claimed.

He said the Modi government opened bank accounts of 30 crore people and gave gas connections to 2 crore poor women. “Our government has increased grants for Himachal from ₹44 crore to ₹1.15 under 14th finance commission,” said the BJP chief. He alleged that the funds given by the Centre were misspent as the Congress government in Himachal did not want the money to reach public.

The BJP chief also promised that if the party formed the government in the state this time, interviews will be scrapped to make appointments transparent.

First Published: Oct 31, 2017 14:12 IST