Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi for abrogating Article 370, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said the previous governments never had the courage shown by the "man with 56-inch chest" in integrating Jammu and Kashmir with India's mainstream.
Addressing a rally in Maharashtra's Kolhapur district ahead of the upcoming state polls, he said people should ask Congress and NCP leaders, when they come to seek votes, whether they support the NDA government's decision to abrogate Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
"Several governments came and went, several prime ministers came and went, no one had the courage to abrogate Article 370. But, the man with the 56-inch chest scrapped it in one go," Shah said.
He held the opposition Congress responsible for the imposition of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. "(But) after coming to power (for second term this year), Modiji did something for which the entire country was waiting for 70 years...he abrogated Article 370 on August 5 and joined Jammu and Kashmir with the country's mainstream," Shah said.
He also listed various other bold decisions taken by the Modi-led government, including banning the practice of instant triple talaq and conducting surgical strike and air strike after the Uri and Pulwama terror attacks respectively.
Speaking on floods that ravaged Kolhapur and neighbouring Sangli in August, Shah assured people that the Centre and the state government will transform both the districts and make them "even better and beautiful". He also appreciated the BJP-led Maharashtra government's 'Jalyukta Shivar' water conservation programme. "Because of the state government's Jalyukta Shivar scheme, several villages saw tranformation in watershed management," he added.