Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday dared the central government to abrogate Article 371 of the Constitution, which has special provisions for the north eastern states, like it did in the case of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Now what about Article 371? Why are you not lifting Article 371 from North-East states? Lift that, we will support you and let people buy land there too… Why only Kashmir? They are trying to only do things against minorities and trying to spread terror among minorities,” he said at an event here.
On the abrogation of Art 370 in Jammu and Kashmi, Pawar said the government should have taken into confidence the people there about their action.
“There was a commission set up and we were of the view that if you want to do something then you have to take the people of Kashmir into confidence before taking such a decision… Although everything went fine the people should have been taken into confidence… The only benefit now is that people can buy land there and before they were not able to,” he said.
In a veiled attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Pawar also said that people are spreading false information for political benefits.
“I have visited Pakistan and received their hospitality… Pakistanis have relatives in India and they want to meet them and vice versa. But there are visa issues… People here say that those in Pakistan are facing injustice and are unhappy ….these things are being said only for political gains without understanding the actual situation in Pakistan… Those in power here are spreading false things for political benefits,” he said.
Pawar said that nobody can test the loyalty of a citizen, based on his social or cultural status.
“Some powers are trying to spread an ideology that you can survive in this country only if you follow a particular faith… For you to be an Indian, you don’t have to prove all of this… Some people have an issue saying certain things and targeting minorities… A section of the majority is trying to create an imbalance by influencing and prioritizing a certain section of the society,” Pawar said.
“As a party, we do not differentiate between people on the basis of their caste and we support equality and all forces trying to create disharmony should not be supported… Anybody supporting mob lynching should not be supported… Such people are cowards and they need to be taught a lesson,” he added.
Pawar also stated that there is a new party in the market, ‘Vanchit Party.’ “Show support to Congress, but work for BJP,” he added.