Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched an attack on "political opportunists" for raising Centre's decision to strike down the semi-autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir during poll campaigning in Maharashtra and Haryana on Wednesday.
Slamming the Congress and NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who had accused the BJP of diverting from poll issues and focusing on Article 370 instead, Modi hit back with a two-word phrase in Hindi – "Doob maro".
"For political gains, some are openly saying that Article 370 has nothing to do with Maharashtra Assembly polls. I want to tell such people that Jammu and Kashmir and its people are also sons of Maa Bharti only," said the prime minister addressing a rally in Akola of the poll-bound state.
"The thinking of political opportunists pains me from within. How can they ask what Maharashtra has to do with Jammu and Kashmir," he said. "Doob maro, doob maro," Modi lashed out.
He said that the nation is proud of the sons of Maharashtra who have sacrificed for Jammu and Kashmir, adding that the entire country stands with the patriotic people of the region to counter the terrorism coming from the other side of the border.
Modi further said that Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar's sanskar (values) are the basis for nation-building.
His remarks came a day after BJP's Maharashtra unit sought Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, for
Savarkar in its manifesto for the 21 October polls.
"It is due to Savarkar's sanskar (values) that we put nationalism as the basis for nation-building," Modi said.
The prime minister further hailed chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and said that Maharashtra has been witnessing development under his leadership.
"Before Fadnavis, you have seen a government who have had only one aim — their own progress and the progress of their families. But today, you have seen that the BJP government has only aim that is Maharashtra's progress, and the progress of the people," he said.
Calling for higher voter turn out, Modi said that elections are a festival of democracy and no one should be behind in celebrating this festival.
Modi's election campaign in Maharashtra will end on 18 October. The single-phased polls in Maharashtra are scheduled to be held on 21 October and results will be announced on 24 October.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Oct 16, 2019 16:26:38 IST