NEW DELHI: The Congress, which boycotted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir, on Friday accused him of using Diwali festival to make political hay in the poll-bound state. Congress spokesperson P C Chacko said that it was evident that the PM’s plan was to bolster the BJP’s poll prospects in the state. This is his fourth visit to the border state since he took over as PM, he pointed out.
The BJP has been striving hard to make further political inroads in the state during the upcoming Assembly polls, building upon its good showing in Jammu in the Lok Sabha polls.
The Congress feels that the BJP, which has till now kept its focus on Jammu and Ladakh, is now trying get a foothold in the Valley through the PM’s much-publicised visit.
Having lost Maharashtra and Haryana to the BJP, the grand old party is naturally wary of the saffron party replacing it in yet another state. But what was more surprising was the NCP’s rather critical view of the PM’s visit. Sharad Pawar’s party, which severed ties with the Congress in Maharashtra prior to the Assembly polls, has since extended unconditional support to the BJP to form a government in Maharashtra. The BJP has not responded to the overture, though. Therefore, NCP MP and Pawar loyalist Tariq Anwar and Majid Memon rather strong criticism of PM’s Srinagar visit, which was dubbed “politically influenced” was a bit surprising.
Bringing a twist to the NCP position, its J&K unit later issued a statement backing the PM’s visit.
J&K NCP chief Thakur Randhir Singh said, “Modi’s visit to highest conflict zone Siachen in Ladakh is a great encouragement to our armed forces”. He also added that the NCP appreciated the package the PM had announced for the state.
Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu asserted that Modi’s only concern was to share the grief of the people.