Union Home Minister and BJP president Amit Shah on Friday hit out at the Congress and NCP, saying they work for their respective political families, while the BJP and Shiv Sena have only the country's interest on their mind.
Shah targeted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over a delegation of the party's overseas UK unit meeting Britain's Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and discussing Kashmir.
"Rahul Gandhi must apologise for this as it is against India's stated stand that there will be no third party role in Kashmir and the state is India's internal matter. Rahul Gandhi should clarify his stand on the issue," he said.
After the meeting, the Congress disowned its overseas Congress unit in the UK, saying it is not authorised to talk on India's internal matters with outsiders.
Addressing a poll rally here in Buldhana district of Maharashtra, he slammed the opposition for criticising scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution, which accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the historic decision.
"The people of Maharashtra have a choice to make. The Congress and NCP work for the welfare of their respective families, whereas the BJP and Shiv Sena have only the country's interest on their mind," Shah said.
He said Modi's first decision after winning a historic mandate for a second term in May was to scrap Articles 370 and 35A, which were impediments in complete integration of Jammu and Kashmir with India.
"No PM ever dared to touch this issue. But, Modiji did it. Today Kashmir is an integral part of the country.
"Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said rivers of blood will flow in the Valley if the decision (scrapping Article 370) was taken and voted against the decision in Parliament. But, not a drop of blood has been shed," the BJP chief said.
The home minister said for the BJP, the country's security is more important than vote-bank politics.
"Why is the opposition asking what is the connection of Article 370 with Maharashtra politics? The entire country wanted Kashmir to be a part of India and Modiji fulfilled that wish," Shah said.
"Maharashtra has got nothing to do with Kashmir? Soldiers from Buldhana sacrificed their lives for the protection of Kashmir. Opposition doesn't feel national issues are important," he said.
Shah said these are first elections in Maharashtra (and also in Haryana) after scrapping of Article 370 on August 5 and they provide an opportunity to voters to show they are one on this crucial issue.
"The elections are an opportunity to show that the entire country is together on this issue," he said.
The home minister said the NRC (National Register of Citizens) will be implemented and by 2024, each and every infiltrator will be thrown out of the country.
Shah said earlier when Pakistan-based terrorists attacked India, there used to be no reaction, but this approach changed after the BJP came to power at the Centre in 2014.
"Mauni baba" (then PM Manmohan Singh) remained quiet. But, when Uri and Pulwama happened, Modi retaliated with surgical strikes and air strikes. The Congress and NCP cannot keep the country safe and secure," he charged.
Shah endorsed Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis's leadership and said he will occupy the post for the next five years and sought a mandate with a 3/4th majority in the polls.
Shah said political stability was absent during the erstwhile Congress-NCP rule.
Mocking the NCP over dynastic politics, he said Pawar family members Ajit Pawar, Supriya Sule, and their children were contesting elections.
"Why.. is there no talent outside the family. Such 'pariwar wadi' parties cant work for the welfare of the state and the country,"he said.
Stating that corruption was the culture of the Congress-NCP, Shah said the opposition could not level a single allegation of corruption against Fadnavis or Modi.
He challenged NCP chief Sharad Pawar to debate on his 55 years of work on the "chauraha" (crossroad) of Nagpur.
"I will send the president of the BJP Yuva Morcha (the party's youth wing) to debate with him," Shah said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)