The BJP has revived its old agenda, hitherto put on the backburner. On a day, when party new campaign chief Narendra Modi virtually launched the poll campaign for 2014 elections, the BJP patriarch once again advocated the need to repeal Article 370 that relates to Kashmir’s integration.
At a Sankalp rally at Pathankot, Modi deliberately avoided controversial issues and talked of united India repeatedly invoking Jan Sangh founder Shyama Prasad Mookerjee. Often described by critics as a divisive figure, Modi sought to portray himself as a leader who unifies, saying he would work for bringing parties and hearts together.
The ‘Sankalp’ rally was held to mark the 60th death anniversary of Shyama Prasad in this town on the Punjab-Jammu and Kashmir border. “The future of the people of this country is not secure in the hands of the Congress. I want to ask the Prime Minister how is he running the country. We cannot let this country fall into more danger,” Modi said. “We (BJP) unite people. We unite parties and hearts. We do not do vote-bank politics,” he said.
“Had the Vajpayee government come back to power in the 2004 general elections, the issue (Kashmir problem) would have been addressed. Things would have been different in Kashmir now. Kashmiri Pandits would have got their rights and respect. The youth of Kashmir would have been part of the national mainstream,” Modi said.
He said Mookerjee had always fought against the “do vidhan, do pradhan” (two constitutions, two leaders) concept related to Jammu and Kashmir and even sacrificed his life for the cause.
However, Advani pushed for repealing Article 370 of the Constitution, saying it would help Jammu and Kashmir’s full integration with India.