Jammu, Nov 21: Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and currently the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad tore into the BJP in a rally saying the latter had taken a U-turn on issues like Article 370 for the sake of winning power in the poll-bound state.
"BJP exploited sentiments for the sake of power"
Azad said the BJP had used such sensitive issues to exploit people's sentiments in the past but today, it has forgotten its stand for the sake of power.
Azad, also a former Union minister, said the saffron party has always betrayed the trust of the people of Jammu and cited the recent case of cross-voting of seven BJP MLAs in the MLC elections.
Azad said this while addressing big gatherings in in higher reaches of Bhallessa, Inderwal and Ramban constituencies at Bharthi, Nali, Gondow, Kastigarh & Chill of Chenab Valley on Thursday to canvass support for Congress candidates.
He was accompanied by Bhaderwah MLA Mohammad Sharief Niaz, Inderwal MLA G M Saroori and Ramban MLA Ashok Dogra.
"People will give a befitting reply to BJP in the election"
Azad said the people of Jammu and Kashmir are slowly learning about the BJP's dual politics and they will give a befitting reply to the BJP's betrayal in the upcoming elections.
The 87-member strong assembly of the state will go to a five-phase election starting November 25.
"Congress took a consistent & practical stand on Article 370"
The leader lauded his own party, saying it was consistent and took a practical stand on issues like Article 370.
He said the Congress never tried to fool people for the sake of votes and gaining power and always tried to promote regional harmony and communal amity as against the BJP's politics of discord, divisiveness and polarisation.
"BJP hobnobbing with separatists for power"
Azad also accused the BJP of hobnobbing with separatists for the sake of attaining power in the state where it has never been a powerful force. It was after its significant success in this year's Lok Sabha election (three out of six seats in J&K) that the BJP also emerged as a potent force in the state election.
"BJP misleading people on rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits"
On the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits, Azad said the BJP was misleading people by trying to say that it was something done for the first time.
Azad said as the chief minister of J&K between 2005 and 2008, he had taken real and meaningful steps for their rehabilitation. He said it was the previous UPA government which sanctioned a financial package to this effect.
He, however, said that the state government did not show seriousness towards the dignified return of the Kashmiri Pundits after 2008.
He said it was the Congress party that had brought development to the Chenab Valley.
Azad backs his performance as the Union health minister
Azad also backed his performance as the Union health minister in the UPA government. He said eradication of polio from the country and setting up of a six new AIIMS have been the high points of his tenure.
Amit Shah slams Azad
BJP president Amit Shah earlier hit out at Azad while speaking at a rally in Banihal. He said a large number of people were joining the BJP in Kashmir Valley, Jammu and Ladakh but people like Azad couldn't see it.