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Scrapping of Art 370 is final nail in terrorism coffin: UP CM

Campaigning for the BJP for the October 21 Maharashtra assembly elections, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for removing special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370, a move he described as the "final nail in the coffin of terrorism".

Addressing a public rally in Lonavla in Pune district in support of BJP candidate Sanjay Bhegde, Adityanath said that by nullifying Article 370 Modi turned the idea of "One nation, great nation" into reality.

"Kashmir, which is called as paradise on the Earth, turned into hell under Article 370. Terrorists used to kill innocent civilians and Indian soldiers," he said, adding that the withdrawn provision was a major impediment in development of Jammu and Kashmir.

The chief minister also said that it was Syama Prasad Mukherjee, the founder of the BJP's forerunner Jana Sangha, who had staunchly opposed the idea of "two prime ministers, two signs, and two Constitutions" under Article 370.

"The idea of 'one nation, great nation' became a reality thanks to Narendra Modiji and (Union Home Minister) Amit Shah. With this decision, the final nail was put in the coffin of terrorism. The move has sent the message that terrorism has no place on the Indian soil," he said.

Adityanath also praised Modi government for working for the cause of the empowerment of women, which he said was previously restricted only to "slogans". He listed schemes like 'Beti Bachav, Beti Padhao', 'Ujjwala Yojana', and the law to criminalise triple talaq to make his point.

He said his Maharashtra counterpart Devendra Fadnavis, who is seeking a second term, has "transformed" the lives of people by implementing several welfare projects.

"Gone are the days when thousands of farmers used to commit suicide. The Fadnavis government has not only stopped suicides by launching pro-farmer schemes, but also generated employment opportunities for people," he added.

Adityanath said Fadnavis government broke the back of crime in the state.

"There was time when goons of the 'D' (Dawood Ibrahim) gang used to extort money; bomb blasts occurred, but in the last five years all these elements have disappeared and a secure atmosphere prevailed in Maharashtra," he said.

The assembly polls are scheduled to be held on October 21. Counting of votes will take place on October 24.

Nullification of Article 370 has become a focal point of the BJP's electoral discourse, drawing allegations from the Opposition camp that the saffron top brass is skirting core issues like "economic downturn" to "divert" attention of voters.