Nitin-GadkariFormer BJP president Nitin Gadkari, who is in the valley, Friday said that Bhartiya Janta Party wants ‘peace’ with All Parties Hurriyat Conference.

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Talking to media, he said, “BJP has zero tolerance against terrorism.” He also appealed people of Kashmir to give BJP a chance. “You gave 60 years to other parties, now give us 60 months and at the end of five years of our term decide whether we are communal or not.”

He said, “We are very much committed for the progress and development of Jammu and Kashmir. We want to fight poverty, hunger and unemployment here… I assure you that we don’t discriminate on the basis of caste, creed, language and religion and do not do politics on such issues.”

Gadkari’s visit to Kashmir came just two days after Lok Sabha elections concluded in the state. He also extended hand of friendship to Pakistan and said that it is committed to ‘100 per cent peace’ with Kashmir. He once again raked up the issue of Article 370 and said that BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi needs not to engage Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in a debate. Going by the traditional stand of BJP on Article 370, BJP wants its abrogation. But Gadkari maintained that BJP was ready to have discussion over it before evolving consensus on it.

Famous for restructuring Maharashtra Public Works Department, Gadkari had to resign from the BJP presidentship on January 22, 2013 after alleged  irregularities in the firm Purti Group promoted by him. Many senior party leaders, such as Yashwant Sinha, were against the re-election of Nitin Gadkari.

He attacked National Conference patron Dr Farooq Abdullah and blamed him for creating ‘fear psychosis’ among Kashmiri people. “This family-raj has destroyed the people and it is the main cause of the sufferings of common people. I urge upon the people of Jammu and Kashmir to put an end to family raj here,” he said.

“This man (Farooq Abdullah) can go to any extent and he can use any ploy to grab the power. This man left no stone unturned to defame Modi in his elections rallies in Kashmir,” he said.

Gadkari was in Ladakh just before the conclusion of Lok Sabha elections. He was campaigning for BJP candidate in the region Thupstan Chhewang. Gadkari continued where he had left while addressing BJP supporters in Leh saying that his party stands for giving Union Territory status to Ladakh and would held consultations over it.

He also said that BJP had not approached either ruling NC or opposition PDP to form a coalition in Kashmir nor does BJP want anyone to join it forcibly.

-Riyaz ul Khaliq


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