Article 370 root cause of terrorism, unemployment: Rajnath

15 June 2008
The Daily Excelsior
Avtar Bhat

Jammu: Reiterating the demand for abrogation of Article 370, which grants special Constitutional status to the State, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president, Rajnath Singh has alleged that this Article was the cause of 'under-development, unemployment and terrorism' in the State. Addressing a Saptha Parivartan rally organised by Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), at Parade Ground here today, Mr Singh said granting special status to J&K is the cause of all problems in the State. 'J&K could not progress in last 60 years at par with other States of country due to Article 370,' he asserted 'Had the unemployment been removed through this special status of the Constitution, the BJP would have supported it,' he said, adding the BJP stalwarts Atal Behari Vajpayee and L K Advani had demanded its scrapping from very beginning because they were fully aware of its consequences. 'This Article has given nothing to the State except terrorism, under-development and unemployment', he said, adding it has been an impediment in the way of investors from across the country'. Making a strong dig at the parties which ruled J&K since 1947, Mr Singh said they played with emotions of the people of the State. Strongly criticizing the coalition Government for announcing to provide 1.10 lakh jobs to the unemployed youth, he termed it an 'election stunt' asking 'why such a decision was not taken during last five years of coalition rule by PDP supremo, Mufti Mohammed Sayeed and Chief Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad'? Turning tables on UPA Government at Centre, he alleged that nothing has been done to contain terrorism and no forceful law was enacted which can act as a deterrent against terrorism. 'No doubt the terrorist attacks took place during NDA rule but we were determined to curb it and we also enacted POTA. Moreover, during the attack on Akshardam temple not a single terrorist was spared. This determines the BJP’s strong will to fight terrorism', he added. Mr Singh declared that BJP will fully back the Government if it will enact a forceful law to curb terrorism. While lambasting the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh for his assertions that Pakistan was also a victim of terrorism, he asked 'what the PM wanted to convey'? Quoting a US report, he said in India 2030 people have been killed by terrorists in a single year and it further said that the country is unable to fight terrorism due to lack of a forceful law. The BJP chief also criticized Home Minister Shivraj Patil for equating Sarbjeet Singh with Afzal Guru involved in attack on the Parliament. He said BJP is not politicking for Government formation but it wants to build a strong and self reliant India. Maintaining that there is a wave in favour of the BJP all over India, Mr Singh asserted that if it came to power it will turn India as a developed nation within 10 years. Maintaining that BJP too stood for good neighbourly relations with Pakistan, Mr Singh said the situation did not change in neighbouring country even after restoration of democracy as terrorism and infiltration from across the border still continued. He alleged that as per the intelligence reports, the ISI is behind all terrorist and Nexalite attacks in India and demanded that it should be put on International Watch. Mr Singh alleged that Government could not take forcefully the recent intrusion in Samba with Pakistan nor could it reply China which claims on Arunachal and Sikkim as its parts. He said it is a pity that India was ruled by Congress for long 52 years but still the country is not counted among the developed nations. While the prices of all commodities have touched peak during Congress rule but the human beings have devalued. The BJP stalwart said in comparison to present Government, the prices were under check during Vajpayee’s rule though NDA faced pressure from all sides. 'The situation was not favourable for us as we fought Kargil war and faced sanctions from world for Pokhran explosion. Still we contained prices while present Government has no such international pressure but it failed to contain the same', he added. He said even former US President, Bill Clinton who visited India during Vajpayee’s rule was puzzled by India’s progress and after returning to US, he had said that if India will progress with same pace no body can stop it from becoming world’s developed country by 2015. He said the NDA Government despite the US pressure went ahead with Pokhran test and Mr Vajpayee saluted the scientists of the nation for the same while his predecessor P V Narasimha Rao did not allow the explosion during his tenure due to US pressure. He also charged the UPA Government with bowing before US on nuclear deal. ' Due to weak kneed policies of this Government India’s self respect was hurt abroad. Our External Affairs Minister was not allowed a meeting by China Foreign Minister during his visit to neighbouring country. Also the Russian Foreign Minister hesitated to meet him during his visit to that country', he added. Mr Singh said that if Prime Minister is abused abroad it is an insult for every Indian. He also criticized the UPA Government’s stand on Ram Sethu saying that even Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb and Britishers could not dare to challenge Lord Ram’s existence as was done by the UPA Government. He said if Congress leadership has any suspicion on existence of Lord Ram they should explain why Mahatma Gandhi talked of Ram Rajya throughout his life, why he was reciting the prayer Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram daily and why he called 'Hai Ram' after he was hit by the bullet during the prayer meeting. The BJP leader said that neither Muslims nor Hindus wanted partition but these were some vested politicians who divided country for sake of power. He said Indian Constitution has given equal rights to all citizens of India irrespective of their religious affiliations and criticized the Congress for granting reservations on name of religion and formation of Sachar Commission. He said the BJP will not allow reservations on the basis of religion and it will fight this tooth and nail. He alleged that this was being done by Congress led Government to divide people on basis of religion. He also hailed the fatwah given by Muslim scholars of Deoband against terrorism. Earlier BJYM national president, Amit Thakkar and BJP State chief, Ashok Khajuria addressed the rally. The vote of thanks was proposed by Dr Nirmal Singh. Other BJP leaders who were present included former HP Chief Minister and Prabhari for J&K Shanta Kumar, Seh Prabhari, R P Singh, Anurag Thakur, MP, BJYM State chief, Pawan Khajuria, Mayor JMC, Kavinder Gupta, BJP leader Manohar Lal and MLA Jugal Kishore Sharma. During the day, Mr Singh and Shanta Kumar addressed the second session of BJYM national executive meeting at Hotel Ashok.