New Delhi: The BJP on Thursday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi corrected "blunders" of Jawaharlal Nehru related to Jammu and Kashmir's accession to India by nullifying Article 370 and demanded an apology from the Congress.
Addressing a press conference on the 75th anniversary of the region's accession, BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia alleged that the first prime minister committed five blunders, including delaying action on the accession proposal of the region's king Hari Singh.
Jammu and Kashmir, and the country in general had to pay a price for it while this allowed Pakistan to capture a part of the region (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir), he said.
Bhatia quoted from Nehru's statement to assert that the king had first mooted the idea in July 1947 but the then prime minister dithered and allegedly prioritised his and his friend's interests, a reference to Sheikh Abdullah while neglecting the country's.
Hitting out at the Congress, he said, "If timely action was taken, then there would be no part of the state under Pakistan's occupation. The Congress since then spread lies and suppressed truth about the issue." Nehru then took an "internal issue" to the United Nations, making Pakistan a party, he added. The BJP leader also denounced him for floating the idea of a plebiscite, claiming there was no provision for it in the Independence Act under which hundreds of princely states merged with India.
Special provisions were also granted to Jammu and Kashmir -- now a union territory -- under Article 370 and the country had to pay a heavy price for it, Bhatia said.
Claiming that then home minister Vallabhbhai Patel was against measures pushed by Nehru, he said if Jammu and Kashmir was merged with the country like other princely states, then there would probably be no "jihadi terrorism".
Modi has corrected those blunders, and his strong leadership is now showing the way to the world, he said.
Bhatia also quoted Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury's comments in Lok Sabha in 2019 during a debate on the resolution about Article 370 nullification to hit out at the opposition party.
Chowdhury had then noted that the Kashmir issue was in the United Nations as he questioned the government's stand that it was India's internal issue.
The Congress should apologise for its blunders, Bhatia said, while also targeting the party for the forced migration of Kashmiri Pandits from there following the outbreak of militancy.
The Congress hit back at the BJP over the alleged exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from south Kashmir's Shopian district and demanded that the Modi government release a white paper on the plight of the minority community during its eight-year rule.
The opposition party also hit out at the BJP-led Centre over the targeted killings of Kashmiri Pandits in Jammu and Kashmir and said the government must apologise for it.
Asked about Union Minister Kiren Rijiju's article titled '75th Anniversary of Five Nehruvian Blunders on Kashmir', Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said those leaders of the BJP who are students of "WhatsApp nursery" need to revisit their history classes.
"If all that they are saying is true, how is it that during the Manmohan Singh era targeted killings stopped and 75 per cent of the people would participate in the democratic process of elections in the state? We would be happy to get the answer to that," he said.
BJP leaders have no idea of contemporary history of the country, Khera said.