MUMBAI: Separatists and terrorists had turned Kashmir into a "hell of terror" using Article 370 as a shield, but abrogation of its provisions will now pave the way for the development of the region, Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said here on Saturday.
Praising the Modi government, the Minority Affairs Minister said it has "broken" the back of terrorism.
Referring to the Balakot air strike, he said the government added a new dimension to the national security by killing the country's enemies "in their own house".
Naqvi also lauded the Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra for "eliminating corruption and misrule of the previous Congress-NCP dispensation".
He exuded confidence that the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance will secure "absolute majority" in the October 21 Maharashtra Assembly polls.
"The separatists and terrorists had converted Kashmir, which had been called the 'heaven on the Earth' into the 'hell of terror' by using Article 370 as a shield," a statement quoted Naqvi as saying.
The senior BJP leader made the remarks while interacting with intellectuals, entrepreneurs, doctors, businessmen and others as he campaigned for Shiv Sena candidate Ramesh Latke in Andheri East segment in Mumbai.
Naqvi said some "satta ke thekedaar" (contractors of power) had over the past seven decades portrayed Article 370 as a "Constitutional compulsion" though it was a "temporary arrangement".
Without naming anyone, the minister alleged that these "contractors" exploited the people of Jammu and Kashmir and played with the sentiments of innocent ones, and kept pushing them into the "quagmire of poverty, illiteracy, unemployment".
"Anti-corruption legislations and actions were not allowed to be applied in J-K due to Article 370. But scrapping of the Article will clear the way for the overall development of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
Now, these regions will also become a part of mainstream development," Naqvi said.
He said national security is "Rashtraniti" (national policy) and development of the needy is "Rashtradharma" (national duty) for the Modi government.
Naqvi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is working with the "nationalistic approach" of Sardar Patel and "commitment" of Mahatma Gandhi to ensure development of all.
The minister termed the amended Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 as the Modi government's another "strong attack" on terrorism.
He observed that Maharashtra was leaping forward on the path of development under the chief minister's leadership.
"The people of the state will once again bring to power the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance with an absolute majority so that the development vehicle continues to move forward," he added.