Mumbai: The Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Sunday hit back at Union home minister Amit Shah for dragging the Kashmir issue into Maharashtra elections.
While the Congress dared Mr Shah to boast about the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir, its ally, NCP, charged the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with hiding its failures by shifting the focus on to Kashmir.
Strongly opposing Mr Shah’s statement, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said “Kashmir is an integral part of India. There is no dispute in the minds of citizens but the BJP is deliberately raising this issue to misguide them.”
“During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit CM Devendra Fadnavis had thanked him for the abrogation of Article 370 but I want to ask them, in which country they were running government in alliance with Mehbooba Mufiti,” he retorted.
The Mumbai NCP chief also objected Mr Shah’s statement that not a single bullet has been fired in the Valley since August 5, when the contentious Article was abrogated by the Parliament, and questioned the government’s continuing curfew in the soon-to-be Union Territory.
Maharashtra Congress general secretary Sachin Sawant remarked that Maharashtra and not Kashmir that would be going to polls next month.
Mr Sawant said that Mr Shah should go to Kashmir if he wanted to talk about Article 370, adding that the saffron party must know that Article 371 and not 370 has been operating in Maharashtra.
“The debt has doubled in the last five years. Farmer suicides have tripled. The number of small and medium enterprises that have closed down in the state has quadrupled. Unempl-oyment has increased tenfold. The government continues to lie to the public,” he said.
The Congress spokesperson added that his party would not allow the saffron party to deviate from the critical issues in the state.