Jalgaon, October 13: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday kickstarted campaigning for the Maharashtra assembly elections from Jalgaon where he addressed a rally. In his speech, PM Narendra Modi challenged the country's Opposition parties to restore Jammu and Kashmir's special status granted Article 370 which has been revoked by his government. He also said that normalcy would return to Jammu and Kashmir in the next four months.
"For the holy land of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, I am challenging the opposition - Make your stand clear and announce whether you support the government's decision to scrap Article 370 and Article 35A or not," thundered Modi, addressing his first election rally in Jalgaon. He dared the Opposition if they had courage to include this in their election manifestos in the October 21 Maharashtra polls that they would revert to Article 370. BJP Haryana Assembly Elections 2019 Manifesto: Modi Govt Promises Interest-Free Crop Loan Up to Rs 3 Lakh for Dalit Farmers.
The Prime Minister said the government is constantly endeavouring to ensure return to full normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir and it would take another four months or so to achieve that. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah also took on the Opposition parties over Article 370. Shah said that the electorates must ask the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) about their stand on Article 370.
PM Narendra Modi's Speech in Jalgaon:
Maharashtra is with NDA. Watch from Jalgaon. https://t.co/FpKjsXQAhz
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 13, 2019
"This is the first election to be held after the abrogation of Article 370. When Congress and NCP leaders come here for campaigning, do ask them about their stand on Article 370," Shah told a gathering in Kolhapur. In 2014, the BJP came to power winning 122 seats in Maharashtra assembly elections. The Shiv Sena, which broke alliance with BJP ahead of polls, managed to bag 63 seats. The Congress and the NCP contested polls separately and won 42 and 41 seats respectively.
According to the schedule of Maharashtra polls announced by the Election Commission, voting will take place at as many as 90,403 polling stations on October 21. Nearly 9 crore people are eligible to participate in the electoral exercise. The Election Commission will announce results on October 24. The term of Maharashtra assembly ends on November 9. (With IANS inputs)