Srinagar: Continuing its tirade against the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), union minister of minority affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Thursday said the Article 370 was a barrier in the process of development and the regional parties wanted to push J&K into the ‘quagmire of separatism and terrorism’.
“Article 370 was a barrier and speed breaker and it has been demolished. Even those who were boycotting are contesting elections now. Article 370 has gone 370 miles deep into earth and they have to go there to get it back. Gupkar Gang has become ‘Gumrahi Gang’ (Deceiving Gang) which is trying to create fear and confusion among the people just for their narrow minded political interests. Congress is supporting those people who want to throw Kashmir back into quagmire of separatism and terrorism,” Naqvi said while addressing a rally in Kupwara district.
The union minister was in the Valley to campaign for District Development Council (DDC) elections.
He said by participating in the DDC polls, the people had given a ‘loud and clear message that people of J&K are becoming a part of political process and development’.
“We want to tell people and make them understand that time has changed and a period of development has started. Gupkar Declaration confused people….you want that we should bring J&K back to the place where there was no development….890 central laws were not implementable here due to Article 370 and the people could not get the benefits of various schemes. Earlier, money used to go to their (PAGD leaders’) pockets,” he added.
Naqvi claimed that ‘after several decades, the BJP has made the people of Jammu-Kashmir an equal partner of democratic process and inclusive development.’
When asked about the recent demolition drive at forest areas in South Kashmir, Naqvi said nobody will be allowed to defy the forest rights act and that the Gujjar community will not be forced to leave the forests.
Besides, Naqvi several other star campaigners will be canvassing for party candidates in the run-up to the maiden DDC polls in Jammu and Kashmir.