Ending the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir would further alienate people of the state but if national elections were held any time soon, the populist step would win the BJP a bigger victory than even Rajiv Gandhi’s landslide in 1984 following the assassination of mother Indira Gandhi, former finance minister Yashwant Sinha said.
A former BJP leader and one of the most vocal critics of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the months before this year’s national elections, said the decision was a “pure political step” with “nothing to do with Jammu and Kashmir” he said, but when asked how many seats would the BJP win if an election were held a day after provisions under Article 370 were scrapped, he told NDTV, “They (BJP) will beat Rajiv Gandhi’s record.”
In 1984, after the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, the sympathy wave helped the Congress led by her son Rajiv Gandhi win more than 400 seats in parliament. “What the government of India has done with Article 370, and Article 35A, is nothing more than pure politics… There are state elections coming in some very important states of India, and this whole thing has been done in order to be able to win the elections,” he added.
He compared the moves on Jammu and Kashmir to a shock ban on large-denomination currency notes in 2016 that was criticised by most economists but found favour with voters who saw it as a crackdown on “black money” or ill-gotten wealth.
“Demonetisation was not an economic step. It was also a political step. Similarly this is also a political step… It has nothing to do with Jammu and Kashmir, because if it had then the Jammu and Kashmir people would have been taken into confidence,” Sinha said.