BJP shelved Article 370 to appease J&K people: Ghulam Nabi Azad

Hitting out at BJP, Congress senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday questioned the saffron party about its silence on Article 370 and said they have shelved the issue to appease the people of Jammu and Kashmir in the ongoing Assembly polls.

Jammu: Hitting out at BJP, Congress senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday questioned the saffron party about its silence on Article 370 and said they have shelved the issue to appease the people of Jammu and Kashmir in the ongoing Assembly polls.

"I want to ask BJP leadership why they are silent over the issue (on abrogation of Article 370). They must answer the queries of the people, who voted them to power in general elections," Azad told an election rally here.

"They are be-fooling both the people of Jammu as well as Kashmir and Ladakh as well," he said.

Azad reminded the gatherings that "ever since BJP came into existence, it carried Article 370 issue on its top list throughout the country."

"It divided the people on communal lines just to seek votes. But now, when it is in power at center, It has made a big U-Turn. Earlier, BJP misguided the Jammu people in the name of Article 370. And after seeking votes from them, now they have shelved the issue to appease the people of Kashmir in the ongoing Assembly polls," he said.

"I want to ask BJP leadership about their silence on it," the Congress leader said.

Saying that BJP has no contribution except befooling people in J-K, he urged the voters not to fall in the BJP's "trap" and vote in favour of development, peace and prosperity.

Addressing gathering in Jammu Cantonment Assembly segment in favour of Congress candidate Raman Bhalla, Azad said such politics on religious lines will spoil the communal harmony not just in Jammu and Kashmir but in rest of the country as well.

Taking a dig at BJP, he said "political parties like BJP, who have nothing to offer to people and have done nothing for the welfare of the state, just fall back upon religion and caste lines to muster support to grab power. Use of religion and caste during elections is fatal for democracy."

"We can sustain and flourish the democracy only as long as the elections are on the basis of policies and programmes irrespective of any caste, colour or religion. Playing with religion is just like playing unity and integrity of the country and for Congress, unity and integrity is more important than any other issues," he said.

Azad further said "Congress is synonym of development and

communal harmony. Lakhs of Congress workers and leaders laid down their lives ... And led the nation towards development and prosperity".

He said the Congress leaders even made supreme sacrifices of their lives but never left the ideology of harmony in the society.

The Congress leader claimed that in Jammu and Kashmir, during past 12 years, the then UPA government at Centre provided funds worth crores of rupees and ensured equitable development of Jammu, Kashmir and Leh, Ladakh regions of the state.

"Road connectivity of towns with cities, villages with towns, double lane and four lane highways and national highways, construction of super speciality hospitals and numerous district level hospitals, universities are some of the examples of the contribution of Congress party in Jammu and Kashmir state," he said.

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