Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Saturday that the BJP may run in Punjab elections in coalition with Captain Amarinder Singh’s and former Akali leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa’s parties.
“We’re speaking with Captain (Amarinder Singh) saab and Dhindsa saab (former Akali Dal leader Sukhdev Singh).” It’s possible that we’ll form a partnership. In the case of the farmers’ protests, Prime Minister Narendra Modi used his big heart to put an end to them, saying, “Fine, if you think the farm laws aren’t in your favour, take them back.” In Punjab, I don’t believe there is any remaining issue. “In Punjab, elections will be fought on merit,” Shah said in an interview with HT Summit.
The Home Minister spoke extensively about Jammu and Kashmir, saying that statehood would be restored only after elections, and that those who demanded it were merely trying to stir up political controversy.
“There is a political demand in Jammu and Kashmir that statehood be restored first, followed by elections.” A law for delimitation in the region has been passed by Parliament. As a result, delimitation will take place first, followed by elections, and then the process of restoring statehood will begin. “I’ve said it before, but they’re just trying to stir up a political debate,” Shah said.
“However, I am confident that the kind of development and law order that has been created under LG (Manoj Sinha’s) leadership… The number of tourists visiting Kashmir is at an all-time high… In terms of public welfare schemes, Kashmir ranks among the top five regions… This change, I believe, will be welcomed by the people of Kashmir. He went on to say, “I appeal to all political parties there to participate in the democratic process.”
“I recently saw a statement by (Farooq) Abdullah saab that Kashmir will see peace only when Article 370 is restored,” Shah said in response to a question about the recent killings of civilians, particularly non-Muslim outsiders and Kashmiri pandits. Why hasn’t there been peace for 75 years because of Article 370? If there is a link between Article 370 and peace, why wasn’t it evident in the 1990s? We won’t even get to 10% if we use any dimension to evaluate (law and order)… if we include the (recent) targeted killings (of civilians) (of what the situation was earlier). This indicates that the state of peace has been restored.”
People have chastised Shah and Prime Minister Modi for imposing a curfew and banning internet in the region, but Shah claims it was necessary to ensure the safety of the local population.
“When I asked the youth who would die if the curfew was lifted, they said ‘we would.’ So, what those who opposed the curfew wanted should be decided by the people of the country,” Shah said.
On the upcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh, Shah predicted that opposition parties forming alliances would have no effect, and that the BJP would win with a landslide.
“It is incorrect to judge votes based on coalitions. Politics is chemistry, not physics. I disagree with the assessment that when two parties join forces, their votes will also add up. When two chemicals react, a new chemical is created. It’s something we’ve seen before. The Samajwadi Party and the Congress Party joined forces. After that, all three parties got together. The BJP came out on top both times. Coalitions based on votebank arithmetic do not guide people. “We’re going to win UP by a landslide,” he declared.
“Even earlier, the impact of the farmers’ protests was less in UP,” Shah said of the issue of farmers’ protests influencing elections. And there’s simply no reason now.”
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