Days after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released its election manifesto, the Shiv Sena on Wednesday fully endorsed BJP's 'Sankalp Patra' by giving it "200 out of 100 marks" for incorporating all their long-held demands, including the abrogation of Article 370 and building of Ram Temple in Ayodhya. Sena mouthpiece 'Saamna' stated: "Though Prime Minister Modi has given importance to the poor and farmers in the manifesto, he is more concerned about building Ram Mandir in Ayodhya and abrogation of Article 370."
Endorsing the BJP line in the manifesto, Shiv Sena stressed in its editorial that the Centre must take substantial steps to strike down Article 370 and pay homage to the people who sacrificed their lives for the same. "If Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah really want to fulfil the dreams of the people struggling for independence then they must first abrogate (strike down) Article 370. It is because of this article that the rules and regulations imposed in other states in India cannot be implemented in the state of Jammu and Kashmir," the political quarter said.
The BJP on April 8 had promised to strike down Article 370 of the Constitution while releasing its manifesto. "We reiterate our position since the time of the Jan Sangh to the abrogation of Article 370," read the manifesto. The manifesto added that in the last five years, the Centre had made "all necessary efforts" to ensure peace in Jammu and Kashmir through decisive actions and firm policy.
The Shiv Sena editorial also slammed former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah for daring the BJP-led government to "even touch" articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution. "Dr Abdullah has now threatened the government for touching article 370 of the Indian Constitution. The tongue of such a person should be cut. If they (BJP) really want to pay homage to people such as Syama Prasad Mukherjee who have sacrificed his life over Article 370, then the party must abrogate this article. As per the manifesto, this article should be scrapped," it added.
Praising the manifesto for including all their demands, the editorial further read: "The BJP manifesto has encapsulated the feelings of the country. Not only that, it has incorporated all our demands. And therefore, we have given their manifesto 200 out of 100 marks." It also stated that this was the last chance for the BJP to construct Ram Temple in Ayodhya and that India's integrity should not be comprised at any cost. "2019 is the last chance for building Ram Temple in Ayodhya. People will not forgive those who will now compromise with the Uniform Civil Code and Article 370," it added.
(With inputs from agencies.)