Keonjhar (Odisha): Hitting out at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for his “silence” on ally Omar Abdullah’s pitch for a separate prime minister for Jammu and Kashmir, BJP president Amit Shah Friday asserted no one can make India part with the state as long as the BJP exists. Shah also alleged that the Congress and other opposition parties are unhappy with the success of the Indian Air Force’s strike on terrorist camps at Balakot in Pakistan in retaliation for the Pulwama terror attack.
“Omar Abdullah has suggested appointing a separate prime minister for Kashmir. Is it possible to have two PMs in a country? Can there be a second PM in Kashmir? “Rahul Baba (Gandhi) is silent on his poll ally Abdullah’s suggestion (separate PM for Kashmir)…He has not uttered a word,” Shah told an election rally here. Asserting that Kashmir is an inseparable and inalienable part of India, the BJP chief said, “No one can take away Kashmir from us. As long as the BJP exists, Kashmir will continue to be an integral part of India.” Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah recently advocated a separate prime minister for his state, triggering angry reactions from BJP leaders.
Shah said barely 13 days after 40 CRPF personnel were killed in Kashmir’s Pulwama in a terror attack, air strikes were carried out targeting a terrorist haven inside Pakistan and the whole nation rejoiced.
“But Rahul Baba did not like it. There was mourning in Gandhi’s party and his alliance,” he alleged. Lashing out at Gandhi family’s close aide Sam Pitroda, who advocated “talks with terrorists”, the BJP president asked, “Tell me whether we should hold a dialogue with terrorists or bomb them?” “If we get bullets from Pakistan, we will retaliate with more lethal ammunition,” he declared.
Maintaining that a Modi wave is sweeping across the country once again, he claimed “From Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Odisha to Gujarat we hear the chants of ‘Modi, Modi’ everywhere.” Shah claimed it is the BJP alone that can safeguard people’s interests.
Slamming Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for his poor command over Odia language, Shah said despite ruling the state for 19 years he cannot talk to people in their language. Odisha, he said, is rich in natural resources but its people are still poor because of the wrong policies of the BJD government.
“The 19-year BJD rule has been marked by misgovernance and corruption. The youth are forced to migrate to other states to earn livelihood as Odisha lacks job opportunities.” Shah also shared his plans for the development of this tribal-dominated district.
The BJP government will set up a steel plant and a medical college in Keonjhar district if re-elected at the Centre. All forest produce will be procured at Minimum Support Price from the tribals, while no GST will be levied on tendu leaves, he said. Under the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) funds, an additional Rs 1,600 crore has already been allocated to Keonjhar, the BJP chief said.
“Unlike the Congress, which did nothing to eradicate poverty during its 70-year rule in the country, the Modi government has been working sincerely for the welfare of the poor, farmers, youth, tribals, Dalits and the weaker sections,” Shah claimed. Polling in Keonjhar, where the BJP has fielded Ananta Nayak as its Lok Sabha candidate, is slated to be held in the third phase on April 23.