None had courage except ‘man with 56-inch chest’: Shah on Kashmir move

Maharashtra Assembly elections, Article 370, Kashmir issue
Amit Shah addressing an election rally in Kolhapur district of poll-bound Maharashtra | PTI Photo

BJP president Amit Shah praised the “man with 56-inch chest” in Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the government’s move to abrogate Article 370, thus revoking the special status of Jammu of Kashmir. Besides, he also slammed the opposition, the Congress and the NCP, leaders for not having the courage shown by Modi.

Amit Shah, who is also the union home minister, was addressing an election rally in Kolhapur district of poll-bound Maharashtra. The state is set to hold its Assembly elections on October 21.

At the rally, Shah appealed to the people to ask Congress and NCP leaders, when they come to seek votes, whether they support the NDA government’s Kashmir move. He also targeted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and NCP chief Sharad Pawar for criticising the government’s August 5 move.

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“After people of the country and Maharashtra voted him for the second term, Modi ji did something for which the entire country was waiting for 70 years…he abrogated Article 370 on August 5 and joined Jammu and Kashmir with the countrys mainstream,” Shah was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

He further blamed the Congress for stopping the process of integrating Jammu and Kashmir with India for several years, with the imposition of Article 370. As a result, he said, “Thousands of our people lost their lives due to terrorism, but still there was no intention of any party to remove Article 370.”

“Governments came and went, prime ministers came and went. No one had the courage to abrogate Article 370. But, the man with the 56-inch chest scrapped it in one go,” the veteran saffron leader said.

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Criticising the UPA regime, Shah said that (former prime minister) Manmohan Singh never uttered a word when terrorists decapitated Indian soldiers. But, he said, after the Uri and Pulwama attacks, Modi showed the courage of killing terrorists in their den through surgical strikes and air attacks.

The home minister also hit out at the opposition parties over the government’s decision to ban the practice of triple talaq. “When we banned triple talaq, they opposed,” he said. Besides, he alleged that the previous Congress-NCP regime over the development was tainted with corruption charges.

“During 15 years of the Congress-NCP regime, the state’s ranking came below 15. But, during the present Fadnavis government, the state has managed to gain its ranking and in all these fields, the state is in the first five,” he said.

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At another rally in Satara district’s Karad, Shah took another dig at the Congress, saying that no worker in the BJP became a leader by virtue of “dynasty”.

“The BJP is the party of leaders. All workers are taking the party and its nationalistic approach forward. Be it PM Modi ji or any other leader, all cadres have become leaders by putting up posters on walls and giving slogans. Nobody became a leader because of any dynasty,” he said.

(With inputs from agencies)