With An Eye On The Polls, Amit Shah Attacks PDP in Jammu Rally
In his first visit to Jammu after his party pulled out of the alliance with the PDP, BJP president Amit Shah spoke about the reasons behind the break-up of the coalition and harped on the alleged discrimination against the Jammu and Ladakh regions. “It was difficult to work with the PDP because they were always putting in only partial efforts and were never concerned about the overall development of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh,” Shah said at a rally on Saturday.
Political analysts saw the rally as a key moment in the BJP’s preparations for the general elections, with the party seeking to mobilize the predominantly Hindu population in the region.
He said the Narendra Modi government had released Rs. 80,000 crore for the development of the State but the money was not utilised properly and never reached the regions of Ladakh and Jammu. “The development work by the coalition government was never balanced. They never worked for Ladakh and Jammu. How could we work with a government who never worked for the development of entire Jammu and Kashmir state?” he asked. Shah said the Centre had been working tirelessly for the development of the State but had been thwarted by the PDP.
Some of the participants of the rally were happy at the break-up of the BJP-PDP alliance. “We were unhappy with the decision of the Centre to support the ceasefire. By leaving the alliance, the BJP has indicated that aligning with the PDP was a mistake,” said Rahul, who was at the rally.
While addressing the scores of people in the audience, the BJP president appealed to the media to focus on the narrative of development and let the security forces work freely. He also cited the recent killings of army soldier Aurangzeb and Rising Kashmir Editor Shujaat Bukhari as a reason for the deterioration of ties between the coalition partners. “Our party has a zero-tolerance against terrorism,” Shah said.
The BJP president said the National Conference and the PDP had ruled Kashmir for years but had not achieved anything. He also made a reference to the Kashmiri Pandit community, talking about how the government had provided them financial help. ”They were driven out of their homes 40 years ago. We helped them. The PDP didn’t do anything. How can we be with such a party,” he said.
Commentators pointed out how issues faced by the Kashmiri Pandit community are often cynically counterpoised to the problems in Kashmir in an attempt to polarize voters ahead of elections.
However, Amit Shah disappointed many who were hopeful that the BJP president will speak on Kathua rape case, and the special status given to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. “We expected Amit Shah to talk about the rape case. We want the investigation to be shifted to the CBI but he didn’t talk about it,” said a resident of the locality, on the condition of anonymity.
Taking a dig at the opposition Congress, Shah said it should apologies for the remarks made by Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Saifuddin Soz over Kashmir. Earlier, BJP state chief Ravinder Raina had said, “Congress ka haath, Pakistan ke saath.”
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