Union Home Minister Amit Shah today claimed that while Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision to scrap Jammu and Kashmir's special status has received support from all parts of the world, Pakistan's attempts to internationalise the issue have only resulted in its alienation.
"PM Modi recently returned from the United Nations (with evidence that) the entire world stands by his decision to abrogate Article 370. On the other hand, Pakistan stands alone in a corner," news agency ANI quoted Amit Shah -- who is also the BJP president -- as saying at a public rally in Sangli less than two weeks ahead of the Maharashtra assembly elections.
The ruling BJP-Shiv Sena combine is facing an alliance of the Congress and Sharad Pawar's NCP in the state polls, to be held on October 21.
The Home Minister went on to accuse the opposition alliance of following Pakistan's example by objecting to the centre's decision on Kashmir. "When PM Modi brought the proposal to abrogate Article 370, the Congress and the NCP were both against it. I want their leaders, Rahul Gandhi and Sharad Pawar, to tell the people of Maharashtra their reasons for opposing the changes we made to Article 370," he told the people.
A large part of Amit Shah's barbs was reserved for Rahul Gandhi, who resigned as Congress chief after his party's shock defeat in the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year. "Even his prediction that rivers of blood will flow in Kashmir was proved wrong because of precautionary measures taken by the government. Not a single bullet was fired," ANI quoted the Home Minister as saying.
A clampdown was imposed on Jammu and Kashmir on the night of August 4, shortly before the centre scrapped its special status through a presidential order and bifurcated it into two union territories. Pakistan has approached several international bodies since then with allegations that the Indian government was involved in human rights violations in the region.
The BJP leader said that his party has always held the nation above politics, regardless of whether it was in power or not. "Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the first person to congratulate Indira Gandhi, who was the then Prime Minister, after India's victory in the 1971 war with Pakistan. We were in the opposition then, but for us, the nation comes first," he said.
He also rejected the opposition's criticism over PM Modi's foreign trips, claiming that his predecessor Manmohan Singh "used to travel more" under the previous UPA rule. "What's more, he used to read out from a script written by Madam (Congress chief Sonia Gandhi). At times, he used to read scripts for Russia in Malaysia and vice-versa," he said, adding that the current Prime Minister is "cheered" wherever he goes.
(With inputs from ANI)
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