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Article 370 takes centre stage in state election campaigns; Will it help the BJP?

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Pune, May 13: The scrapping of Article 370 seems to be the main pitch of the BJP for assembly elections in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand. The BJP campaigners are bringing up Kashmir Issue, abrogation of Article 370 and 'befitting response to Pakistan' in every rally.

Local issues and the performance of incumbent government which is actually facing the electorate are getting a mention no doubt, but not as prominently as the 'nationalism'. This Nationalism pitch worked for the BJP in May General Elections and Prime Minister Modi returned to power bigger mandate than 2014. In fact, the opinion polls suggested a clear surge for Modi Govt after the Balakot Air Strike.

A file photo

PM and other start campaigners relentlessly spoke about Balakot and 'tit-for-tat' response to Pakistan during the campaigning for 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. It worked for the BJP then.

The upcoming elections are in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand, all three states have a BJP chief ministers who would be completing their first term in office. At this point, it is the achievements and work done by these first time CMs that should ideally be the campaign narrative. For one, there is anti-incumbency, and the party should be explaining to people what more can happen in five years and what will the BJP government offer in the next term, if voted to power, to make lives of common man better.

[Kashmir was turned into 'hell of terror' under Article 370: Naqvi]

For a local voter, what matters is development around him and his rationale while making the decision to vote is likely to be how my life has changed in 5 years and what was the role of government in it. Article 370 scrapping is fine, it may make a nice topic for serious discussions in families and offices, but other than that, it is not likely to have impact on the quality of lives of common man.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was addressing a rally today Maharashtra's Hingoli. On the contentious Article 370, he said the move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a tribute to icons like Babasaheb Ambedkar and Chhatrapati Shivaji who fought for justice.

"The Congress included Article 370 in the Constitution in 1952 despite opposition from Dr Ambedkar. Its abrogation is a tribute to Babasaheb Ambedkar and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj who always fought for justice," he said.

Yogi praised the Devendra Fadnavis government over the state's law and order situation and said it, along with the Centre, had taken strong steps to curb terrorism.

"Funds allocated for schemes and farmers were grabbed. Deals were cut while providing jobs. Development was limited to development of a family," Adityanath said attacking the opposition.

But a detailed report card of Fadnavis' achievements and what he had done in five years did not get as prominent a mention as it should have been.

Maharashtra Assembly polls are slated for October 21 and results will be announced on October 24.

Prime Minister Modi was also in Maharashtra. Modi on Sunday addressed a rally in poll-bound Maharashtra's Jalgaon district. Invoking Article 370, PM Modi said that on August 5, his government did something that was 'impossible'.

"Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh is not just a piece of land for us, but is crown of 'Maa Bharti'. We revoked Article 370 so that people in Valley could prosper along with the rest of the country", he said.

Voting for the assembly election in Maharashtra is scheduled to be held on October 21 and the counting will be held on October 24. The ruling BJP-Shiv Sena coalition, which also includes other small parties, is in direct contest with the Congress-NCP alliance in Maharashtra.

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