Kalimpong (WB), Apr 11: The BJP will scrap Article 370 of the constitution which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir and introduce the National Register for Citizens (NRC) across the country if voted to power again, BJP chief Amit Shah said on Thursday.
On the campaign trail in West Bengal, he also accused TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee of questioning the Balakot airstrikes to “appease” her minority vote bank, and demanded that she clarify whether she too favoured a separate prime minister for Jammu and Kashmir like her ally, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah.
“We will remove Article 370 from Kashmir after forming the next BJP government at the Centre”, Shah told an election rally in the Darjeeling Lok Sabha constituency where the party has fielded industrialist Raju Singh Bisht.
Shah alleged that Banerjee, who is vehemently opposed to the contentious NRC that is currently restricted to Assam, was “misleading” people, and vowed to introduce it in every state after winning the polls.
“It is our commitment to bring in NRC across the country to chuck out each and every infiltrator. Unlike Mamata Banerjee, we don’t treat infiltrators as our vote bank. For us national security is supreme. We would ensure that each and every Hindu and Buddhist refugee gets citizenship of this country”, he said.
Banerjee has repeatedly claimed that the NRC, which seeks to weed out illegal migrants from Assam, will turn even bonafide Indian citizens into refugees.
The NRC got mired in a massive controversy after the names of around 40 lakh people, living in Assam for decades, were omitted from the complete draft that was released last year.
He also took on the West Bengal chief minister for “questioning the veracity” of the Indian Air Force’s strike in Pakistan’s Balakot to avenge the killing of 40 CRPF troopers in Kashmir, saying the IAF’s assault was mourned in only two places – Pakistan and Mamata Banerjee’s office.
“We came to know that Mamata Banerjee was mourning the air strikes. It is quite obvious that the air strikes will be mourned in Pakistan. But why is Mamata Banerjee mourning? She is mourning in order to appease her minority vote bank.”
“This is a shame”, Shah said, attacking the West Bengal leader.
Mocking the grand opposition alliance proposed by Banerjee, Shah wondered why the Congress and CPI(M) were criticising the TMC if they were her allies.
“I wonder what kind of grand alliance Banerjee is proposing. She is saying vote for the grand alliance. Why are the Congress and CPI(M) criticising her TMC if they are allies at the Centre. The fact is no one is willing to stand with Banerjee. This alliance neither has a leader nor a policy,” he said.
Seeking to reach out to tea garden workers, who constitute a sizeable section of the electorate, the BJP chief said his party’s manifesto has promised to provide a pension of Rs 3,000 to them after the age of 60.
In Assam, where the BJP is in power, the government has transferred Rs 2,500, twice, directly to their bank accounts, he said, claiming the TMC government in West Bengal is neglecting tea garden workers.
Shah said the Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal were about “restoring democracy” in the TMC-ruled state.
The BJP is making a determined bid to expand its influence in West Bengal where the support base of the Congress and the Left has shrunk over the years.
Shah has set a somewhat ambitious target of winning 23 of the state’s 42 seats. The BJP had won only two seats in the state in 2014.
Will visit Jammu and Kashmir if required: CJI
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Monday said that if required he will visit Jammu and Kashmir High Court to take stock of the situation amid allegations that people are unable to approach the court. “If a need arises, I may visit Jammu and Kashmir High Court to take stock of the situation,” he said while hearing a plea on the restrictions since the abrogation of Article 370.
The CJI also asked the Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court to send a report on the matter. “It is a serious issue,” the court observed after child rights activist Enakshi Ganguly submitted that litigants are not able to approach the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
Earlier today, the Supreme Court had asked the Central government to file an affidavit on the petitions challenging the abrogation of the provisions under Article 370. Last month, Parliament had passed the Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganization) Act, 2019, bifurcating the state into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir with legislature and Ladakh without it.
Following this, a batch of petitions were filed in the top court challenging it.
Will take legal course to challenge Farooq Abdullah”s detention under PSA: NC
Srinagar, Sep 16: The National Conference (NC) on Monday said the party would take legal course to challenge the detention of its president Farooq Abdullah under the Public Safety Act (PSA) in Jammu and Kashmir.
“They have no justification to do that, but if they have booked him (Abdullah) under the PSA, then what can we do. We can only approach the courts. We will take constitutional and legal recourse,” senior NC leader Mohammad Akbar Lone told reporters here.
Lone, the MP from north Kashmir, said the government”s move is unfortunate and it is a matter of shame that Abdullah has been booked under this act.
“If there was anyone who would talk of India here, it was Abdullah. If anyone has been abused, it is Abdullah and today, this is how India pays him. This is very unfortunate,” he said.
Abdullah has been detained under the stringent PSA, which enables authorities to detain any individual for two years without trial, sources said
Day 39: Normal life still out of gear in Kashmir; schools remain shut, public transport off roads
Srinagar: Normal life remained affected in Kashmir as the stalemate following the abrogation of Article 370 entered its 39th day on Thursday with schools closed and public transport off the roads, officials said.
Restrictions on the movement or assembly of people have been lifted from most areas of the valley, but security forces continued to be deployed to maintain law and order, the officials said.
They said the authorities were also considering easing out restrictions on mobile communications and restoring voice call services.
While landlines across the valley were functional, voice calls on mobile devices were working only in Kupwara and Handwara police districts of north Kashmir.
However, normal life remained severely affected across the valley due to shutdown which entered 39th day on Thursday, the officials said.
Markets and other business establishments remained closed, while public transport was off the roads across the valley, they added.
Internet services remained suspended across all platforms, the officials said.
The efforts of the state government to open schools have not borne any fruit as parents continued to keep children at home due to apprehensions about their safety.
Most of the top-level and second-rung separatist politicians have been taken into custody while mainstream leaders including three former chief ministers — Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti — have also been either detained or placed under house arrest.