Gupkar Alliance speaking Pakistan's language on Article 370: BJP

File Photo/ GK

The BJP on Monday hit out at its rival parties in Jammu and Kashmir, saying their stand on a number of issues, including the demand for restoration of Article 370, is the same as that of countries like Pakistan, and asked the Congress if it agrees with the “anti-national” views of the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party over its support to them.

Addressing a press conference, senior BJP leader and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad cited a number of pro-people central laws that have been brought in force in the union territory following the 2019 repeal of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, and asked if the Congress supports their annulment by bringing back Article 370.

“I want to ask Sonia Gandhi (Congress president) and Rahul Gandhi, do they want restoration of Article 370? Please tell the nation categorically and clearly does the Congress support annulment of pro-people laws?” Prasad asked, attacking the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, an amalgamation of various Jammu and Kashmir parties whose demands have drawn some support from the Congress.

He noted the “anti-national” views of National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, who had favoured China’s support for Article 370’s restoration, and PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti, who had said she would not raise the national flag if the separate flag of Jammu and Kashmir is not restored, and sought to know the Congress’ stand over them.

Prasad said women were earlier deprived of property rights in the union territory if they married outside and anti-corruption laws, reservation for the disadvantaged sections of society and various other “humanist” central laws were not implemented in the region and accused the Gupkar alliance of working to push Jammu and Kashmir towards “narrow conservatism”.

“If a Muslim or Hindu girl from Jammu and Kashmir married a boy from outside, then she would have no right in the property of her father. We have changed it and restored her right to property,” he said. The alliance of about 10 regional parties have demanded restoration of Article 370, a demand supported by some senior Congress leaders, including P Chidambaram.

Targeting the Congress over its tie-up with the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra described it as “unholy”, saying that it is aimed at opposing the implementation of laws duly passed by Indian Parliament.

“This Gupkar Alliance wants exactly what Pakistan and anti-India countries want. Pakistan has gone to every forum and spoken against the removal of Article 370. The Gupkar Alliance says the same thing,” Patra said.

“The BJP would like to ask Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi if they stand by the comments made by leaders in the Gupkar Alliance,” he said, noting that NC president Farooq Abdullah had spoken about China’s support for Article 370, while PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti had said that she would not raise the Indian flag if Kashmiri flag is not restored. He said these parties are nervous as the local polls in the union territory are aimed at taking development to the grassroots.