BJP will scrap Article 370 if voted to power again: Shah

We will scrap Article 370 of the Constitution which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir and introduce National Register for Citizens across India if voted to power again, BharatiyaJanata Party chief Amit Shah said Thursday.

On the campaign trail in West Bengal’s Kalimpong in Darjeeling LokSabha seat and Raigang seat in North Dinajpur, he also accused TMC supremoMamata Banerjee of questioning the air strikes to “appease her minority vote bank”, and demanded that she must clarify whether she too favoured a separate prime minister for Jammu and Kashmir like her ally National Conference leader Omar Abdullah.

“We will remove Article 370 from Kashmir after forming the next BJP government at the Centre,” Shah told an election rally at Kalimpong in Darjeeling LokSabha constituency where the party has fielded industrialist Raju Singh Bisht.

Calling illegal migrants from Bangladesh “termites”, Shah said at another rally in Raiganj that his party will throw them out after coming to power at the Centre for a second consecutive term.

Shah alleged that Banerjee, who is vehemently opposed to the contentious National Register of Citizens (NRC) that is currently restricted to Assam, was “misleading” people, and vowed to “introduce it in every state after winning the polls”.

“It is our commitment to bring in NRC across the country to chuck out each and every infiltrator. Unlike Mamata Banerjee, we don’t treat infiltrators as our vote bank. For us national security is supreme. We would ensure that each and every Hindu and Buddhist refugee gets citizenship of this country,” he said.

Banerjee has repeatedly claimed the NRC, which seeks to weed out illegal migrants from Assam, will turn even bonafide Indian citizens into refugees.

The NRC got mired in a massive controversy after the names of around 40 lakh people, living in Assam for decades, were omitted from the complete draft that was released last year.

He alleged that the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal was only interested in appeasing minorities. The BJP chief claimed that TMC stood for “Tushtikaran, (appeasement), mafia and chit funds. Illegal migrants are like termites. They are eating our foodgrains that should go to the poor, they are taking away our jobs. The T of the TMC stands for ‘Tushtikaran, M for mafia and C for chitfund (scams),” Shah said.

He also took on the West Bengal chief minister for “questioning the veracity” of the Indian Air Force’s strike in Pakistan’s Balakot to avenge the killing of 40 CRPF personnel in Kashmir, saying the “IAF’s assault was mourned in only two places: Pakistan and Mamata Banerjee’s office”. “We came to know that Mamata Banerjee was mourning the air strikes. It is quite obvious that the air strikes will be mourned in Pakistan. But why is Mamata Banerjee mourning? She is mourning in order to appease her minority vote bank. This is a shame,” Shah said, attacking the West Bengal leader.

Banerjee and other opposition leaders may be interested in talks with Pakistan but the government believes in responding to their “bullets with canon balls”, he said.

“Apko (Mamata) Pakistan kesaathiluilu (I love you) karnahaintohkijiye. Lekin agar Pakistan golimaregatoh hum golamarenge (If you are interested in love with Pakistan, you can do that but we would respond to their bullets with canon balls),” Shah said, referring to the popular love song from film Saudagar released in the early 1990s. Mocking the grand opposition alliance proposed by Banerjee, Shah wondered why the Congress and CPI(M) were criticising the TMC if they were her allies.

“I wonder what kind of grand alliance Banerjee is proposing. She is saying vote for the grand alliance. Why are the Congress and CPI(M) criticising her TMC if they are allies at the Centre. The fact is no one is willing to stand with Banerjee. This alliance neither has a leader nor a policy,” he said.

Under the TMC rule “all three—mother, motherland and people are suffering”, he said, referring to the ‘Ma, Maati and Manush’ slogan of West Bengal’s ruling party.

“Mothers are now bereft of love, infiltrators have taken away our land and people are being brutalised and killed,” he said.