"The issue of Article 370 (which accords special powers to J&K) is being raised only by those who loot the interests and concerns of the people for 365 days a year. They are using Article 370 as a security cover for their corruption and loot," BJP leader and Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters in Srinagar.
Naqvi said the BJP never claimed to abrogate the article, but some people were trying to create an illusion among the people for political gains.
"We never said we are going to abrogate Article 370 or are fighting the polls on the issue... We have said there can be discussions on the issue and discussions can happen on every issue. We are a democratic and an open country and there can be a discussion over it. It is not a religious script which cannot be discussed," Naqvi said.
Meanwhile, addressing election rallies on the last day of campaigning in Pancheri area of Reasi district, Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh said if voted to power BJP would institute an inquiry committee to investigate into the misappropriation of central funds in the state.
"BJP will institute an inquiry committee to investigate into misappropriation of central funds by certain individuals and families from time to time in the state," Singh said, "We will strive to establish democracy in true spirit where every youth will have the opportunity to grow in career as per his capabilities, calibre and diligence."
Union minister Naqvi said the elections this time were different from the earlier ones.
"This election is different... The atmosphere and mood of the people have changed. People have decided to vote on the issues of security, development, prosperity and good governance. Political parties like NC, PDP and Congress are trying to befool the people by raising the non-issues, issues that have expired and been rejected by the people," he said.
Naqvi said the plank of secularism was like political crutches for some parties to seek votes and that they were suffering from depression.
"The so-called upholders of secularism, for whom secularism is like a political crutches and a way to seek votes, are suffering from depression. That is why they are raising the issues of dangers to secularism and Article 370. We have made it clear that this election will be fought on the issues of development, security and prosperity," he said.
"Today, Pakistan has been isolated, because the light of development cannot be produced by the factory of terror. There is no light of development but of destruction coming out from such a factory. That is why it is our endeavour to see a secure Kashmir where the youths are full of employment avenues," he said.
"The people in the power here have been dishonest and corrupt. They have filled their own coffers with the money from the Centre rather than utilising them on development of the people... There will be no compromise with corruption and scams and if anyone has looted public money, then law will take its own course.
"Those people who are involved in corruption and scams will not be able to visit London or the US after the elections, but will find themselves in jails. They will be held accountable," Naqvi said.
He said the party was seeking votes for a full majority and the issue of post-poll alliance was "not an issue right now".
Singh addressing rallies in Reasi said with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the helm of affairs in New Delhi, this is a rare opportunity for the people of the state, particularly for the youth, to vote for establishing a system of governance where there is justice and fair deal for all sections of society and the taxpayer's money is not squandered away by a handful of individuals sitting at the top.
Meanwhile, BJP leader and Union minister Nitin Gadkari said in Jammu that some political parties were trying to wage communal divide by spreading misinformation and creating fear
among the minorities.
Union Minister for Roads and Transport Gadkari, while addressing BJP-organised 'Vision Seminar on Roadmap and Prosperity' said, "Some parties are busy threating the minorities by indulging in divisive politics, but BJP believes in progress and development for all."
Replying to the remarks of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in which he had termed separatist- turned-mainstream politician Sajad Lone as the "stooge of RSS", Gadkari said these parties were indulging in promoting communal divide which was not in the largest public interest.
He said BJP believes in the politics of progress and development. "The root cause of the problems is the family and dynastic politics wherein father-son, father-daughter rule the state. BJP does not indulge in politics of caste, creed or religion," he said.
Gadkari said after he took over the ministry of Road and Transport several road projects that were stalled during the previous UPA-led government have been restarted.
In the coming two years progress on road construction work would speed up to an average of 30-km per day, he said. "The work rate had dropped to less than one kilometre during the previous government and in next two years we will speed it up and construct roads at a rate of 30-km per day," he said.
Promising roads of international standard, Gadkari said with the use of innovative technology, his ministry has brought down the cost of road construction.
"Good roads are essential for growth of the economy and in the next two years my ministry would be responsible for two percent growth of our GDP," he said.
He said his ministry has brought in a proposal to do away with the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 which has become obsolete. "I want to end RTO and other authorities which promote corruption and the people will get their driving licence renewed and other work done online," he said.
Gadkari said his ministry would soon introduce a system wherein the traffic rule violators will get a 'challan' delivered at their doorsteps.
"Be it politician, policeman, businessman or anybody, if they violate the traffic rules their 'challan' would be delivered to them at their doorsteps and if someone violates the traffic rules thrice his driving licence will be cancelled," he said.
Gadkari said that he is planning to construct two dry ports in Jammu and Kashmir that would help increase business activities in the state.
Gadkari said his ministry would soon introduce a Prime Minister Jal Marg Yojna on the lines of Prime Minister Sadak Yojna.
"Many countries use waterways to travel, but we rely on highways and airports more. We are planning to utilise our waterways for travel and business and for this we will soon introduce Prime Minister Jal Marg Yojna," Gadkari said.
Gadkari said the Modi-led government wanted to develop the state of Jammu and Kashmir in three main areas agriculture, industry and tourism.
"This state has lots of potential and Modi wants to develop this state by giving it state-of-the-art
infrastructure," he said.
Addressing a rally in Arnas, Gadkari said that the ruling parties including NC, PDP and Congress had discriminated with the people of Jammu which is a reason for the slow development in this region.
He said, "only BJP can bring the state on the path of development as the successive governments in the state have failed on the front of development which has resulted in lack of employment avenues for the educated youth in the state."
Gadkari said while the Center has been pumping in huge funds for the development of the state, the ministers of NC-Congress government misused it.
Addressing another rally at Chenani, Gadkari said that the Modi-led government was committed to the overall development of the state.
"The development of the state of Jammu and Kashmir is possible only when the people vote in favor of BJP candidate and help in fulfilling the Modi mission to get 44 plus seats," he said.
Union Minister for Human Resource Development Smriti Irani and former Union Minister and national spokesman of the party Shahnawaz Hussain also addressed several rallies in Jammu, while party leader and MoS for minority affairs Mukhtar Abas Naqvi addressed rallies in Kashmir.
At a rally in Reasi, Irani said, "The respective governments in Jammu and Kashmir have failed to fulfill the promises made to the people. If you want your problems to be resolved, give an absolute majority to BJP to form the government in the state."
She said that the people of the state were fed up with the rule of the parties led by the father-son and father-daughter duo and that it was the time to end dynasty rule.
"The time has come to end this dynasty rule from the state and to bring the state on the path of development," she said.
At another rally in Ram Nagar Assembly constituency, Irani said, "the new government has increased the confidence in the investors who are now investing in the country which has resulted in the creation of employment avenues for the youth."
She expressed confidence that after the formation of government in Haryana and Maharashtra the party would form the next government in Jammu and Kashmir.
"As the people of state have lost their faith in NC and PDP and this has been witnessed in the recent floods as the state government remained absent for more than a week and people cried for their safety. It was only the Modi government that came to the rescue of the flood hit people," she said.
Former Union Minister Shahnawaz Hussain while addressing an election rally in Gulab Garh Assembly constituency said that the region remained neglected as the ruling parties in the state was busy serving their personal interests.
"National Conference and PDP have neglected the people of state and has been concerned about their own welfare as the result they failed to initiate any development activity in the state," he said, adding that there was lack of drinking water and regular power supply in the area.