Pune: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis Tuesday attacked the Congress Lok Sabha poll manifesto for its stand on powers of the armed forces in Jammu and Kashmir and sedition law by asking whether it belonged to the opposition party or terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed.
Addressing a rally for the BJP candidate for Pune Lok Sabha seat, Girish Bapat, he hit out at the Congress for stating in its manifesto that deployment of armed forces in Jammu and Kashmir would be reduced if the party came to power. “They are also saying that if they come to power, they will reduce the special powers given to the army in Jammu and Kashmir. What special power does the army have in Jammu and Kashmir? If terrorists are sighted, they have all the powers to eliminate them. They have powers to put stone pelters behind bars,” said Fadnavis.
He claimed taking away these powers, as the Congress manifesto promises, will embolden terrorists to enter the restive northern state at will. “I am wondering whether this manifesto belongs to the Congress or Jaish-e-Mohammed,” he said. He took a swipe at the Congress for claiming in its manifesto that section 124 A of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with sedition, will be scrapped.
“Maoists, terrorists, people who wage war against the country are tried under this law. But after some students in JNU shouted anti-national slogans saying ‘bharat tere tukde honge’ and were arrested for sedition, it seems the Congress got disappointed and so want to withdraw this law,” Fadnavis claimed. He said the Congress-led UPA did not have the spine to retaliate against Pakistan after the 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai in 2008, adding that a “new India” had emerged with Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking over.
“When the Uri attack happened, Modiji gave freedom to the Army to avenge the attack. Our brave soldiers carried out a cross-border surgical strike. After the Pulwama attack, IAF jets destroyed terror camps in Pakistan,” he said. Continuing the attack on the opposition party, he said, “When all nations acknowledged the IAF air strike on the terror camp in Balakot, only Pakistan and the Congress were demanding proof.”
In a sarcastic vein, the Maharashtra CM added, “In case there was an idea that the Congress would demand proof (of the air strike), its leaders could have been tied to a missile.” He lauded the schemes of the Central government and lambasted the Congress minimum income scheme Nyay claiming the opposition party had spoken about eradicating poverty among people while going about eliminating poverty of its leaders and sycophants.