TARGETING THE Opposition for criticising his government’s decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday challenged Opposition parties to declare in their poll manifestos that they would “bring back Article 370 and 35A”. He also said that it would not take “even four months” to restore normalcy in J&K.
Addressing his first rally in Jalgaon for the Maharashtra Assembly polls, Modi said: “Main virodhiyo ko chunauti deta hu, agar aap mein himmat hain toh 370 par spasht stand lekar aaye. Agar himmat hain toh apne chunavi ghoshna patra mein elan kare, dhara 370, 35A, jo Modi sarkar ne hatai hain, hum vaapis layenge… Yeh, ghadyali aasu bahana bandh karo… Kya in mein se kisi mein dum hain ab 370 vaapis lene ki? Kya Hindustan vaapis lene dega? Aur koi lene ki koshish karega, woh kya bachh payega? Uska rajnitik bhavishya bachega? Desh usse sweekar karega kya?”
(“I challenge the Opposition, if you have the courage, then take a clear stand on 370. If you have the courage, declare in your election manifesto that you will bring back Article 370, 35A, which the Modi government scrapped… Stop shedding crocodile tears… Do any of them have the courage to bring back 370? Will the country let them bring it back? And even if they try, will they survive? Will their politics survive? Will the country accept it?”)
Saying that J&K was “not just a piece of land, but the crown of India”, he said: “Wahan ka samoocha jeevan, wahan ka kan kan Bharat ki soch ko, Bharat ki shakti ko mazboot karta hain… Dhara 370 ne alagaavavaad ko badhaya. Aur hum ne suraksha ki drishti se avashyak kadam uthai hain. Chaalis saal tak jo asaamaany paristhiti rahi, usko saamaanya banane mein char mahine bhi nahin lagenge.”
(The life and every part of Kashmir lends greater strength to India… Article 370 promoted separatism. And keeping security in mind, we took the necessary step. The abnormal situation which prevailed for the last 40 years, it will not take even four months to make it normal.)
He accused the Opposition parties of politicising the issue. “You look at the statements made by Congress, NCP… They seem to be speaking on the lines of the neighbouring country,” Modi said, without naming the leaders, as he apparently referred to Pakistan.
Modi said there was “no difference” between what his government preached and practised. “Our decision on triple talaq was not confined to welfare of Muslim women alone, but also men. A Muslim father and brother have appreciated the decision. I dare the Opposition, which is protesting against it, to bring back the practice of triple talaq,” he said.
Praising Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, he said: “Under his leadership and vision, Maharashtra has emerged as a leading state and made huge contribution to the Centre.”
Taking a dig at the Opposition, Modi, without naming any party, said the “tired allies” can extend support to each other, but cannot fulfil the dreams of Maharashtra and aspirations of its youth. Senior Congress leader Sushilkumar Shinde had recently remarked that both his party and the NCP were “tired”.
Modi also appealed to women to vote in large numbers.