The farmer of soldier Aurangzeb, who was abducted and murdered by militants in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwara in June 2018, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Jammu on Sunday, PTI reported.

Mohammad Hanief, along with retired Army officer Rakesh Kumar Sharma, joined the saffron party at a rally in Vijaypur. Hanief reportedly also handed over a portrait of Aurangzeb to Modi. “I have joined the BJP for its pro-poor policies,” Hanief was quoted as saying. “Modi government is the best in the country which thinks about the poor unlike the previous governments.”

Aurangzeb’s bullet-ridden body was found in Pulwama’s Gooso village on June 14. The 44 Rashtriya Rifles soldier was posted in Shopian. He was a resident of Poonch and was on leave for Eid. He was awarded the Shaurya Chakra posthumously.

Modi addressed several rallies and inaugurated public projects in the state on Sunday. At the Vijaypur rally, he criticised the Congress for using farm loan waivers as a gimmick ahead of the Lok Sabha elections to win votes. Elections to the Lok Sabha are likely to be held in April and May.

At another rally in Srinagar, Modi said India had shown the world its new “policy and tradition” in tackling terrorism by conducting the “surgical strikes” across the Line of Control in 2016. He said every terrorist will be dealt in a befitting manner. “We will break the backbone of terror in the state,” he said.