Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday spoke to Republic TV's Editor-In-Chief Arnab Goswami following the release of BJP manifesto. She was asked whether the party's promise on the abrogation of Article 370 in the manifesto was an appeasement tactic.
She responded saying that the party stands by its position even today and added that it was building consensus on the matter.
"Article 370 is not only being today. We have been discussing it for a long time, not just for discussion sake but because we need to have larger consensus about what it does to the gradual integration of J&K with the country. Is it helping or delaying the integration of J&K with the country? We are not changing our position. We are not undermining Opposition. We have the commitment even now. We are building consensus on it," she said.
With the brazen Pulwama terror carried by Pakistan and the Indian government's stern response to it, Sitharaman was asked why the BJP manifesto did not mention the topic of Pakistan backed terrorism.
"We have been repeatedly saying that the terror fountain lies in Pakistan, even if they wish to can't hide this fact. We are ones who have clearly taken a call on isolating Pakistan. We are clearly asking Pakistan to take necessary steps to contain terror. So there's no shying away from that," she said.
Earlier on Monday, she was questioned over Mehbooba Mufti's claim that 'Kashmir will attain freedom from India' and Omar Abdullah's reference of a 'separate Prime Minister', she said that the BJP stands for 'one Constitution, one flag and one minister.'
She said, "The position of BJP, and before this the position of Jan Sangh, the party that gave us the inspiration for the ideology, we all believed that there should be one Constitution, flag and minister. The founding president of BJP Syama Prasad Mukherjee reached Srinagar where he sacrificed his life has been putting a clear stance on this issue, our position on this stance is clear."
Republic World brings you comprehensive election news coverage and phase-by-phase election updates of the Indian General Elections 2019. The 2019 Lok Sabha Elections will be held from April 11 to May 19 in seven phases, with the counting of votes scheduled for May 23. Get all the latest election news, highlights, controversies, polls, live updates and results of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019, only on Republic World.