‘Narendra Modi will bring Kashmir Issue to an end’: Devendra Fadnavis in Aap Ki Adalat

“I believe that Modi has started taking strong steps in Kashmir. Like Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, who brought about the unconditional merger of 542 princely states in the Indian Union, Modi will also bring the Kashmir question to an end.”

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis today said, he was of the firm opinion that Prime Minister Narendra Modi “will bring the Kashmir issue to an end” (Kashmir ka jo prashna hai, khatm karengey).

Fadnavis was replying to questions from Rajat Sharma in India TV’s show ‘Aap Ki Adalat’, recorded in Mumbai today.

He lashed out at former Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti for threatening that the last link of Kashmir with India will end if Articles 35A and 370 are removed from the Constitution.

“For more than 50 years, we have been hearing such threats, and successive governments at the Centre had been refraining from taking strong steps because of such threats. Time has now come to take stern steps against separatists.

“I believe that Modi has started taking strong steps in Kashmir. Like Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, who brought about the unconditional merger of 542 princely states in the Indian Union, Modi will also bring the Kashmir question to an end.”

Asked why his party BJP had run a coalition government with Mehbooba Mufti for three years in J&K, the Maharashtra CM replied: ” Our president Amit Shah has already replied to it. We engaged Mehbooba in the political process because it was necessary to keep her party away from separatists. We shunned power (‘thokar maar di”) when we found that she was siding with separatists.

“Kashmir was, is and shall always remain an integral part of India. If Kashmiris can buy land in Mumbai without restrictions, Indians should also get the right to buy land in the Valley. We will never allow Kashmir to be delinked from India.”

On BJP promising to remove Articles 35A and 370 from the Constitution, Fadnavis said: “We are trying to correct a historical mistake. When 542 princely states merged unconditionally during Sardar Patel’s time, why was special status given to Kashmir?”

On the issue of “saffron terror”, Fadnavis said: “I believe Hindus can never become terrorists. Conversely, no terrorist can be a Hindu. The very essence of Hindutva is tolerance. India never attacked any country in the past. It always provided refuge to outsiders who took asylum.

“In order to misguide a particular community, the Congress started the saffron terror narrative, but all those who have been accused of saffron terror have been acquitted by courts.”

The Maharashtra chief minister attacked the Congress manifesto for promising to remove anti-sedition law. “I cannot understand how a more than 100 years old party has done this. Congress should amend its manifesto and say that the anti-sedition law shall stay.”

Fadnavis claimed that the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance would “sweep” all the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra and will also “sweep” the assembly elections scheduled to be held in October this year.

He described the BJP-SS combination as “a natural alliance”, while criticizing the Congress-NCP combination as “an opportunistic alliance”.

The chief minister described Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray as “a frustrated politician” and said that the Congress-NCP alliance was manipulating him.

“Raj Thackeray is no doubt a fine orator, but he has used his tongue at the wrong time and at the wrong place. MNS could have emerged as a big political force, but people of Maharashtrahave now lost interest in his party. The party has failed to win seats in assembly, panchayat and zilla parishad polls.”

“There is no chance of Uddhav and Raj Thackeray joining hands in the near future”, Fadnavis added.

On young politicians Sujay Vikhye Patil and Ranjitsinh Mohite Patil joining BJP, Fadnavis said: “The new generation in the traditional families of Congress and NCP leaders has taken a liking to the BJP. They have been attracted by Modi. That is why they are leaving their political legacies to join our party.”

Aap Ki Adalat with Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis was telecast tonight at 10 pm on India TV. It will also be telecasted on Saturday April 13 at 10 pm and on Sunday April 14 at 10 am and 10 pm.