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Press Trust of India Kolkata
BJP working president J P Nadda Friday hit out at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her opposition to abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and claimed that time is over for her government.
Nadda, who was addressing a seminar on abolition of Article 370 here, questioned the patriotism of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for opposing the scrapping of the article and said his statement was used by Pakistan in the United Nations to oppose the move.
He accused National Conference leaders Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti and Congress leaders of misleading the nation by spreading lies that the special status of Kashmir has been withdrawn by the abrogation of the article.
"They are deliberately misleading the country. Article 370 never gave a special status but was a temporary provision," he said and hailed the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the strategy of Union Home Minister Amit Shah for playing the pivotal role in restoring peace and taking the northern state to the path of development.
Pakistan had tried to make the scrapping of the article an international issue but had to take a beating at all the international forums, he said and lauded the Modi government for the diplomatic victory on the issue.
Keeping up his attack on Banerjee, who is one of the harshest critics of BJP, Nadda said she is so busy in the politics of appeasement that national interest has taken a backseat for her, he said.
"The writing on the wall is that her government's time is over. It's only a matter of time that BJP will come to power in Bengal," Nadda said at the Jan Jagran Karyakram on Article 370 in Kolkata.
"Is (the concern for) vote bank, power and politics bigger than national interest for Mamata Banerjee? How can the chair be more important than the country? She should answer why her party opposed the move to integrate the country. When the country is strong and united, then only people in the normal course of things come to power or go out of power," he said.
The people of Bengal should seek answers from TMC for opposing the Centre's abrogation of Article 370, he said.
His comments came in the backdrop of Banerjee and Gandhi opposing the manner in which the Narendra Modi government revoked the Article.
The Trinamool Congress leadership, however, declined to attach much importance to Nadda's statement.
Senior party leaders said the people of West Bengal are firmly with the TMC and are opposed to the divisive politics of the saffron camp.
The BJP has emerged as an alternative to TMC in the last Lok Sabha polls by bagging 18 out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
Criticising Rahul Gandhi, Nadda said his statements were used by Pakistan to oppose India in the United Nations. "Is this nationalism? Is this patriotism?"

Article 370, he asserted, should have been withdrawn a long time ago as it prevented the people of Kashmir from availing the benefit of various laws passed in Parliament.
"Around 104 laws which were applicable across the country, were never applicable in Kashmir. The people of the valley suffered due to it but the Congress and the so called liberals never bothered about it," he said.
"It is only BJP, which since its days as Jan Sangh had demanded the withdrawal of Article 370 from Kashmir. Jan Sangh leader Syama Prasad Mookherjee gave his life for the cause," Nadda said.
The Centre had on August 5 this year revoked Article 370 and bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories - Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Expressing happiness over several non-NDA parties, backing the coalition in the Rajya Sabha last month during the voting on scrapping Article 370, Nadda said, "We had got more votes than our numbers in Rajya Sabha. They put country above everything else".
Hitting out at the Congress and the "so-called" liberals for shedding "crocodile tears" over the abolition of Article 370, Nadda wondered why the erstwhile Congress governments at the Centre never raised their voices over the inability of the rural bodies of Kashmir to avail of developmental funds dispersed by the Centre in the past.
"Now after abrogation of Article 370 they will be able to avail of those funds," he said.
Accusing the Congress, PDP and NC, Nadda said for several decades development had taken a back seat in the valley as these parties were involved in corruption in respect of funds provided by the Centre rather than in the development of the state.

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First Published: Sep 27 2019 | 10:20 PM IST

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