Anything for vote! That is what exactly looks to be the strategy of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi. Be it Ram Mandir issue or the Uniform Civil Code, Modi has been maintaining a discreet silence over any issue that can hit the party’s fortunes in general elections, especially among the Muslim community.
In Jammu today, Modi, in the same vein, downplayed the party’s stand on Article 370 that gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir in the Indian Union. He demanded that a debate should be held to find out whether the constitutional provision has been beneficial for the state.
Hinting that the party may even give up the demand for abrogation of the article, Modi echoed the view of the party president Rajnath Singh, who had earlier said that if Article 370 proved to be beneficial, his party would stand by the measure.
At a time when, not only his political rivals, but also various activists and members of the civil society have been demanding a clarification from him on snooping of a woman architect, Modi talked of rights of women in Jammu and Kashmir.
He said because of Article 370, women in the state didn’t enjoy equal rights unlike in other parts of the country. Referring to the chief minister’s family, Modi said, as quoted by DNA: “If Omar (Abdullah) married outside Kashmir, his rights of being a citizen remain whereas his sister Sara loses the right for the same. Is this not discrimination against the women in the state.”
Attacking the state government, he said that they keep on going to Delhi with a bowl seeking alms. “They keep acting like the state is a begging state. It is anything but that,” Modi said. We have to remove this stain of ‘beggar’ on the state and make the state a ‘better’ one, he said.
Urging people in the state to speak in one voice, Modi said that the development comes with integration. “The politics of discrimination must end. Either some region or community is treated with injustice,” he said, apparently to woo people in Jammu region who have been crying injustice.
Modi reached Jammu’s Maulana Azad stadium along with Rajnath Singh and senior party leader Arun Jaitley at 10 am to address his first ever rally in the state after being anointed as the party’s prime ministerial candidate.
Modi also talked about making Jammu and kashmir a “super state” while attacking both the central and state governments for “failing to revive the tourism sector” in the state.