Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said the Congress cannot make up its mind on nationalism because of vote-bank politics, PTI reported.

Shah, who addressed an election rally in Tigaon near Haryana’s Faridabad city, said only the Narendra Modi government could have taken the decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status. He said no other prime minister in the past had dared to do so. The Centre scrapped the special status on August 5 and imposed restrictions in the state.

Shah said while the Bharatiya Janata Party and many other parties supported the government’s decision, the Congress opposed it because of vote-bank politics. Shah asked the Opposition party to make its stand on the matter clear. “They will not speak because they like power and the vote bank,” Shah added.

The minister claimed that “Pakistan used to mislead the youth of Kashmir and give them arms” because of Article 370, which provided the region special status. “From 1990 till now, over 40,000 people became victims of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir,” he pointed out.

Shah said the government will identify every single intruder in the country and throw them out before 2024, reported The Hindu. He also attacked the Congress, and said topics like the National Register of Citizens made the party uncomfortable. “The Congress says that the intruders should not be thrown out,” said Shah. “The party is worried — where will they go, what will they eat and where will they live? Hooda ji [former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda], why are you so worried about them?”

The BJP president also accused the Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government of indulging in shady land deals when it was in power in the state.

Earlier in the day, addressing a rally in Akola in Maharashtra, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked the Opposition for questioning the relevance of Article 370. “A shameless Opposition is asking what is the connection between Article 370 and Maharashtra,” Modi said. “We are proud of the children of Maharashtra who sacrificed everything for Jammu and Kashmir. But today, for their political gains, these people who are steeped in their family are asking what has Maharashtra got to do with Jammu and Kashmir? Doob maro! Doob maro! [Drown in shame].”

Assembly elections in Haryana and Maharashtra will be held on October 21. The results for both states will be declared three days later.

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