Gujarat BJP president CR Paatil Friday highlighted the resolve of the Narendra Modi-led government to fulfil the promises made in the party’s manifesto. The party’s “commitment” to abrogate Article 370, he said, has allowed Kashmiri women to now marry men from “other parts of India” without the fear of losing share in their property.
Campaigning at Karamsad in Anand district ahead of the upcoming local body polls, Paatil said, “When the BJP manifesto mentioned the party would repeal Article 370, Congress warned Modi not to touch 370… They said, ‘Kashmir mein khoon ki nadiyaan beh jayengi (Kashmir will see rivers of blood flowing)’. But this is Modiji from Gujarat, he does not fear anyone. He went to the Rajya Sabha, and in one day, he introduced a Bill and got it cleared in both Houses within a day… This is the Modi-(Amit) Shah government, they take responsibility to ensure the law and order after a decision (is made)… When the task was entrusted to Amit Shah, could there have been ‘khoon ki nadiyaan’? Amit Shah ensured not even a bullet was fired in the Valley.”
Paatil said the repealing of the Article 370 has given Kashmiri women the freedom to choose to marry in other part of the country. “Earlier, a woman from Kashmir, if she married any man from outside the state, she would lose the rights to her property because of Article 370. Now, imagine the happiness of the women because with the revoking of the Article 370, they can marry anyone and not lose rights to their property in their state.”
Paatil also evoked Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who was born in Karamsad. “Karamsad is Sardar Patel’s Janmabhoomi (birth place) but his karmabhoomi (place of work) is in Bardoli, which is my area. I invite you to visit there. Like you, we too are proud of being connected to the great leader. In Bardoli, we have even kept the room where he stayed untouched,” Paatil said.
Taking a dig at the Congress for criticising the Modi government over its decision to build the Statue of Unity (SoU) in Kevadia, Paatil said, “Today, you see the grand 182-metre-high statue in Kevadia, attracting people from all over the world… When I visited New York last year, I went to see the Statue of Liberty, which is such a well-known monument. But honestly, I saw it from the boat ride and did not feel like visiting it… It was a mere ornamental statue. But SoU is an inspiration.”
The BJP leader said farmers who contributed iron farm tools for the Statue of Unity in 2014 feel “involved” in the project, a cornerstone of Modi’s ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ dream.
He also criticised the Congress for attacking the BJP over the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya. “Congress would say that ‘BJP wale bolenge mandir wahin banayenge, par tareekh nahi batayenge’ (BJP will speak of building the temple but not announce the date), but when Modiji became the Prime Minister, the court order came… Under the Congress regime, there would be communal clashes, hatred spread and the construction of the temple would be obstructed. Now, Modiji has brought people from every community and region together for construction of the temple.”
Paatil said the fund collection drive for the temple is not due to the necessity of gathering money but instilling the feeling of ‘oneness’.
Citing the BJP had 1.14 crore party workers in the state, the highest that any political party can ever dream of having, Paatil urged the workers to enrol 10 new beneficiaries in the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana to mark their respective birthdays.
Roadshow in Ahmedabad
Earlier in the day, Paatil led a roadshow in Ahmedabad city before the campaigning for the polls for the municipal corporations ended. Starting from Kubernagar ward in the morning, the roadshow passed through 23-km distance of the city to culminate at Kamnath Mahadev near Raipur Crossroads.
Paatil was accompanied by senior party leaders Pradeepsinh Jadeja, Kaushik Patel, I K Jadeja, Jagdish Panchal, Pradeepsinh Vaghela and others in a ‘chariot’ (truck) which was welcomed by people at more than 30 locations on the route.
An official release stated that the chariot was preceded by party workers riding horses and elephants with great enthusiasm. More than 1,000 two-wheelers and numerous four-wheelers were also a part of the convoy. Quoting Paatil, an official release stated that the kind of response the rally got, the BJP’s victory was certain in the February 21 elections.
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