Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Ramdas Athawale on Friday said it is in Pakistan's interest to hand over PoK to India as several reports suggest people in the occupied territory are unhappy and want to be part of this country. Also, the chief of the Republican Party of India and an ally of BJP, Athawale said, Pakistan should not indulge in war-mongering and issue veiled threats. He added that after Article 370 was abrogated and Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into two Union territories, there has been complete peace in the Valley.
The Union Minister reiterated that abrogating Article 370 will accelerate the pace of development in Jammu and Kashmir as Central schemes and laws, which could not be implemented earlier, will now be enforced. The UT status of J&K is temporary and the statehood will be restored once the situation fully normalizes, he added.
"Narendra Modi is a dashing prime minister. He took a historical decision to scrap Article 370. Pakistan has been unable to digest this and has tried to unsuccessfully rake up Kashmir issue once again. Pakistan should now hand over PoK to us and it is in Pakistan's interest to do so. If they hand over PoK to us, we will set up many industries there. We will also help Pakistan in trade and help fight poverty and unemployment. Our Army is strong and we have defeated them in wars like Kargil they thrust upon us. The UT status in J&K will not be a permanent feature." he said.
Athawale said that RPI will contest ten of the 90 seats in the Haryana Assembly polls. He said, "Elections are shortly going to be held in Haryana, Maharashtra, and Jharkhand. In Maharashtra, RPI has sought ten seats out of 288 seats. In Haryana, we have a small presence but we are getting support from various communities like Rajputs and Muslims. As RPI is not very strong in Haryana, BJP will not leave any seats for us. But we want to contest ten seats in the state and we will fight these number of seats. At other places, we will support BJP." When asked if his party will put up candidates against ally BJP in Haryana, he evaded a direct reply, saying, "We will fight against the Congress." Upon asking if RPI will function as BJP's B team, Athawale said, "If our candidates stand in the contest, the BJP will benefit. And those candidates of ours who will be elected will support the BJP government. We are not going to put up candidates in Haryana to cause loss to the BJP, but it will be for their gain."
(With PTI Inputs)