Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah on Saturday claimed the party walked out of the Mehbooba Mufti-led government in Jammu and Kashmir because the Peoples Democratic Party ignored the interests of Jammu and Ladakh.

“The Modi government sent several financial packages for the state, including a Rs 60,000 crore package,” Shah said at a rally in Jammu, the Hindustan Times reported. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi came here over a dozen times. But Jammu and Ladakh were discriminated against.” This is Shah’s first visit to Jammu and Kashmir since the state government collapsed. The state is currently under Governor’s rule.

He added: “If development [in the state] is not balanced, and Jammu does not progress, then we decided we cannot be part of this [state] government.” He was in the city to mark the death anniversary of Jan Sangh founder Shyama Prasad Mookerjee.

“Under the PDP government, a newspaper editor was murdered. Children took up stone-pelting,” Shah added. “Attacks on army and security forces increased. We could not be part of such a government.”

The BJP leader also claimed that the Centre had approved branches of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences for both Jammu and Kashmir but the government did not allocate land to set up the institute in Jammu. “It is our right to demand our share,” he said.

Shah also criticised the Congress and sought an apology from its leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Saifuddin Soz for their recent comments on Kashmir.

“Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad made a statement which I cannot even repeat here,” Shah said. “And immediately after it, Lashkar-e-Taiba supported that statement.”

Azad reportedly said that “the Indian Army was killing more civilians than terrorists” in the state. Soon after, the Lashkar-e-Taiba put out a statement expressing its support.

Saifuddin Soz claimed that Kashmiris will prefer independence if given a chance to “exercise their free will”. Shah said the BJP would never let it happen, as Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of the country. “Congress leaders should apologise to the country,” he said.