Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Nitin Gadkari on Saturday said Article 370 is a hindrance to the development of Kashmir, and if the party's prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, comes to power, then the state would prosper.
Calling for the abrogation of Article 370, Gadkari called it a reason for underdevelopment in the state. "Due to Article 370, there is no development in Jammu and Kashmir, as no industry can be set up, and there is no development in the tourism sector. If Article 370 is abrogated, Jammu and Kashmir will prosper, and whatever Narendra Modi says, is correct. We want development for Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. Our mission is to eradicate poverty and we have to accept a suitable economic policy to provide employment," he said.
"I feel that if Narendra Modi becomes the Prime Minister of India, there will be development in Kashmir, poverty and unemployment will be eradicated," Gadkari added while addressing a news conference in Patna.
Gadkari also rejected claims made by Kashmir separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani that Modi had sent two emissaries to talk about the Kashmir issue. "Geelani said that Narendra Modi had sent two emissaries. He did not inform who these two men are, who gave them sanction, what their names are and what is their status?" said Gadkari.
Yesterday, Geelani had said that Narendra Modi had sent two emissaries to approach him for a meeting on March 22 while he was in Delhi to talk about the Kashmir issue.
Geelani said that they asked him if he was ready to offer any assistance for the same. He also said that he had rejected their offer as Modi could not be trusted on such issues after the Godhra riots.