Ammu And Kashmir Will Be Number One Priority Of BJP: Rajnath Singh

15 April 2014
The Economic Times

Jammu: Asserting that BJP has an 'emotional' relationship with Jammu and Kashmir, party chief Rajnath Singh today said the state will be 'our number one priority' once the NDA government is formed at the Centre. 'BJP has an emotional relationship with Jammu and Kashmir. It is crown of India. J&K was an integral part of India, is and will continue to remain integral party of India,' Singh told a public rally here. Singh, who was here to campaign for BJP candidate for Udhampur Lok Sabh seat Jitender Singh, said, 'Our leader Dr Shama Prasad Mukerjee, who gave martyrdom for it and whose idealogy the BJP is following, had then said that J&K is the crown of India. He had said 'till I am alive I will always safeguard the dignity and pride of J&K'. We are on it'. Singh said, 'There is an emotional relation of BJP with J&K. J&K will be our priority number one.' Referring to the controversial issue of Article 370, the BJP president said the provision had prevented implementation of the Panchyaati Raj Amendment Act and denied the panchayats their powers. 'Article 370, when I discuss this issue in relation to J&K, several people here get frustrated. Sarpanchs and panches got killed, gram sevaks got killed. Panchayati Raj Amendment was not implemented because of Article 370'. 'I want to tell the rulers of J&K, if you want to continue Article 370, first ensure security and safety of sarpanches, gram pradhans and common people, first save them and give them guarantee of security and safety, then find some reason to keep Article 370,' he said. Claiming that refugees from Pakistan were also victim of Article 370, he said, 'Refugees from Pakistan have been denied right to vote and other rights of citizens in Jammu and Kashmir. I want to tell that BJP government is coming to power and we will do whatever is needed for you. 'In this direction, we will form a national refugees relief and rehabilitation policy, which would take care of all of them and ensure them right to vote.'