BJP Kashmir candidate opposes repeal of Article 370

Hina Bhat, BJP candidate for the Amira Kadal Assembly constituency here, on Thursday said she does not support abrogation of Article 370 and expressed the hope the contentious issue would not figure in the party’s manifesto for the state elections.

When a news agency asked Bhat whether she stood by her statement in local media that she would be the first to pick up the gun if Article 370 was abrogated, she said: “It is my personal opinion that Article 370 cannot be abrogated.”

“Yes, if it is abrogated, I will oppose it tooth and nail.”

She also questioned reports that abrogation of Article 370 would be part of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) manifesto for Jammu and Kashmir Assembly polls.

“Have you seen the manifesto? How do you say abrogation of Article 370 would be part of our assembly election manifesto?” she asked.

On Tuesday, while inaugurating the party’s media cell in Jammu, Jitendra Singh, minister of state at the Prime Minister’s office (PMO), told reporters: “All issues (including Article 370) which have been part of the BJP manifesto all these years will be part of the agenda. They will continue to be so.”

“The ideological issue (Article 370) which you are pointing at, BJP’s stand is very clear on it and it is known to you.”

“But in each election at a given time, you have to prioritise and you have to go by the aspiration of the people. The aspiration of the people as of now, in 2014, in November and December, when we go to polls, is to liberate this state and people from years and years of misgovernance, corruption and misappropriation of central funds,” the minister said.

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