Srinagar: The BJP said on Wednesday it was confident Islam will prosper in Jammu and Kashmir if it got to rule the state.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also said that it won’t press for the abrogation of article 370 of the constitution, which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir, if people of the state want it to stay.
BJP state vice president Ramesh Arora, who is also in charge of the party’s Kashmir affairs, said Kashmiris would feel more secure if the BJP was voted to power in the country’s only Muslim-majority state.
“Kashmiris need to vote en masse for the BJP. This contention is wrong that the BJP is a communal party. Kashmir is a land of Sufi saints. Islam will grow better during our regime,” he said.
“The state as such has no religion but we (BJP) respect all religions and pledge religious freedom to all as guaranteed in the Indian constitution.
“Those who say the BJP would be a threat to Kashmiriyat … are wrong.
“The actual threat is to those who say so. Our party will end administrative, police, bureaucratic and political injustice in Jammu and Kashmir.”
Trying to play down the controversy over article 370, Arora said the BJP favoured a debate and discussion on the issue.
“We will take people into confidence and assess its merits and demerits to the state and proceed accordingly.”
Arora said a debate over this provision was a “serious issue and we (BJP) won’t take any vague decision.
“We will take the aspirations of all regions of Jammu and Kashmir into account while dealing with this issue.”
The BJP has traditionally opposed article 370, saying it was coming in the way of Jammu and Kashmir’s complete integration with the rest of India.
The BJP manifesto for the 2014 Lok Sabha election reiterated its stand on the article and said it “will discuss this with all stakeholders and remains committed to (its) abrogation”.