Modi criticises Congress and NC over election issue

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BHOPAL: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken a dig at the Congress over National Conference’s decision to boycott the upcoming Civic and Panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir.
The National Conference has said it is boycotting the elections to Panchayat and Urban Local Bodies in the State because the Centre has not clarified its position on Article 35-A of the Constitution, which is facing legal challenge in the Supreme Court.
“There are elections (to Civic Bodies) in Jammu and Kashmir and the allies of Congress are running away from the polls,” Modi said while addressing a rally of BJP workers in Bhopal on Tuesday.
The Prime Minister did not name the National Conference but the reference was obvious. “If the Congress had a bond with them, it should have stood with them. But they (the Congress) in J&K are saying that well, if you do not want to come along, we can go solo in Panchayat elections,” he said and asked “What type of coalition is this?”
Article 35A of the Constitution bars non-residents of Jammu and Kashmir from acquiring any immovable property in the state. The Supreme Court had on August 31 deferred the hearing on a bunch of petitions challenging Article 35A of the Constitution, as the Centre had urged the court to take up the matter after Panchayat elections in the State.

In a reference to the Congress leadership’s background in Madhya Pradesh, PM Modi said that the Congress’ arrogance prevents it from allowing a chaiwala and the son of a poor mother in the form of Shivraj Singh Chouhan or Yogi Adityanath from occupying high offices. He said the Congress feels that these positions can be occupied only by a high born.

Modi was speaking at the party convention, which has been touted as the world’s biggest party worker’s convention. The BJP had been claiming that it would get 10 lakh workers to attend the function. Non-political sources, however, pegged the number to be between 1.5 to 2 lakh.

A combative Modi said that now that the power has slipped out of Congress’s hands, it is now “falling at the feet of smaller parties” which they would not have done earlier. “The Congress had so many MPs, so many CMs, now you have to find the party with a microscope. The alliances are now born out of fear and not for the benefit of the country, Modi said.

The PM said in the upcoming Assembly election, the BJP will opt for development as an agenda even if other parties go for a divisive agenda.