BJP exploited people in the name of Article 370: Congress

Attacking BJP over Article 370, Congress on Friday said the saffron party "exploited" the people of Jammu and Kashmir on the issue for 60 years and is now asking them to forget it for the sake of gaining power.

Udhampur: Attacking BJP over Article 370, Congress on Friday said the saffron party "exploited" the people of Jammu and Kashmir on the issue for 60 years and is now asking them to forget it for the sake of gaining power.

"They have already exploited the people of Jammu & Kashmir in the name of Article 370 for the last 60 years, and now for the sake of attaining power, have deleted the same from even their manifesto," senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said.

He was campaigning at various locations in the upper reaches of Reasi, Gool-Arnas, Gulabgarh- Mahore and Chenani constituencies.

The Congress leader also accused BJP of having a "divisive and polarising" agenda.

"People of the state, especially Jammu, are feeling cheated by the exploitative machinations of BJP, as in their desperation to attain power, they have forsaken their core ideology and are even seen hobnobbing with separatists," Azad said.

On BJP allegations related to Roshini scam, Azad said, "BJP has no issue as it has gauged the mood of the people in the first phase of elections and is now using diversionary and misleading methods to exploit people."

He said the Roshini scheme was a people-friendly measure of his government which benefited lakhs of poor people of the state.

It was aimed to regularise the occupation of land by those poor people who had been holding it since decades, Azad said, adding that this was to safeguard them from rapacious elements in the system.

"However, certain unscrupulous officials tampered with the revenue records to change the titles of the land. Upon coming to know about such distortions and abuse of the scheme, I from a public platform at Kathua in December 2013, demanded a probe into the wrongdoings. Vigilance organisation has already initiated a probe into the matter," said Azad.

If voted to power, Congress will complete the probe in the matter in the shortest possible time, he said.

Azad said BJP should go through CAG reports related to Gujarat where "all procedures were thrown to winds" for "distributing" lands to corporates. Reacting to PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti reportedly refusing to take any support from Congress, Azad said, "When did we offer support to PDP?"

"Does not everybody in the state know PDP has been supporting BJP and not any other political party?" he said.

"We are going to the people with our model of 2006-08, while PDP will replicate the 'Gujarat model' in the state, which proves beyond any point that they do not have any paradigm to offer to the people of the state," he said.

Seeking a decisive mandate for his party, the former chief minister said people of J&K want sustained and effective development and only Congress-led government can do this.

"We have a credible track record of performing excellently on the fronts of development, growth and infrastructure building."

"The entire state has seen my performance and we are seeking a decisive mandate from the people on the basis of that record," Azad said.

"We are faced with a gigantic task of reviving the flood-ravaged economy, rebuilding public infrastructure on a fast-track basis and creating employment opportunities for the youth," said Azad, adding that people of the state are determined to defeat the non-performing and exploitative forces.

Without naming any party, Azad said their role in dividing the secular vote has been fully seen by the people in the Chenab Valley in the first phase of elections and the voters should not get misled on their slogan of stopping BJP.

"They should introspect and do some soul-searching and should not try to shed crocodile tears on the rise of BJP or pretend to be well-wishers of Kashmiris or assume to be flag-bearers of secularism," said Azad.

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