Slamming Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for belittling Jammu and Kashmir by calling it "a beggar state", National Conference leaders today demanded an apology from the BJP leader.
"We seek an apology from Modi for calling J&K a beggar state. Such an insensitivity demonstrates arrogance and lack of comprehension of a person aspiring to become the Prime Minister," NC said in joint statement issued by several party leaders today.
The party observed that it was neither slip of tongue nor an inadvertent mistake but a deliberate attempt on the part of Modi to provoke the people of Jammu and Kashmr to react so that BJP derived benefit in the states going to polls.
"By showing immense degree of sagacity, the people of the state have not obliged the saffron brigade to succeed in its machinations," they said.
Signatories to the statement included legislators, Kr Rachpal Singh, Aijaz Jan, Vice President, Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Bukhari and Babu Ram Paul, besides Vice President, Rattan Lal Gupta, Provincial Secretary Sheikh Bashir Ahmad, former legislators and senior leaders Kashmira Singh, Bushan Lal Bhat, Satpal Lakhotra and Jugal Mahajan, Dharamveer Singh Jamwal.
They decried the hypocrisy of Modi talking about winning the hearts and minds of people by invoking the spirit of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and in the same breath showing contempt to the delicate sensitivities of Jammu and Kashmir residents, who were proud of their glorious heritage which made them givers and not takers.
The National Conference leaders also wondered over the logic put forth by BJP MP Tarun Vijay relating Article 370 to direct investment, asking which economics he was professing to the people.
"By saying that Article 370 has made the state poor and deprived people opportunities to employment, industrialisation and direct investment, they have demonstrated his intellectual bankruptcy," they said.
He said Jammu and Kashmir is a forward looking state, pursuing an economic agenda aimed at inclusive growth.
"We were among the first states to welcome foreign direct investment in retail," they maintained.
The National Conference leaders cautioned BJP to desist from testing the patience of people and not to attempt raising their castles at the cost of delicate sensitivities.
By trampling the spirit of Article 370, the self-seekers in BJP were doing dis-service to the nation, ironically for lust of power.
They also advised the BJP to remain at bay while deliberating over sensitive issues like Jammu and Kashmir as they lacked understanding on "such delicate affairs".
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