Target of 370 seats tribute to abrogation of Article 370, says Goyal


New Delhi: In the first admission of a link between the BJP target for ensuing general elections and abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said his party winning 370 seats will be a fitting tribute to the historic decision of the Modi government that has helped integrate J&K with the rest of the country.

In an interview with PTI, Commerce Minister Goyal asserted that the target of 370 seats for the BJP and 400 seats for the NDA comes from the conviction of good governance in the last 10 years by the Modi government and not over-confidence and arrogance.

He said the general election might throw a surprise and the final tally of BJP and NDA might be higher.

Goyal did not comment on whether BJD will be part of the NDA, but welcomed all well-meaning good parties to be part of the journey to make India a developed nation by 2047.

Replying to a question on the realistic number that the BJP is targeting, he said, “Well I’m not an astrologer, but I can certainly say our target is 400 seats for the NDA and 370 seats for the BJP, a fitting tribute to one of the most important decisions this government has taken, one of the most important decisions that Parliament has blessed us with their full support…”

The Supreme Court has also held that the abrogation of Article 370 was constitutionally correct, he added.

Goyal highlighted that the abrogation of Article 370 has led to the generation of economic activities in the Union Territory, besides a huge influx of tourists.

The Narendra Modi-led government, on August 5, 2019, abrogated Article 370, thus ending the special status given to J&K, and bifurcated it into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and Ladakh.

He also talked about the Prime Minister’s recent successful visit to Kashmir.

“All of this has encouraged us to aspire for 370 seats for the BJP, as a fitting tribute to this great decision. We are not overconfident. We are not arrogant about our victory. We are coming from a position of conviction. We have the courage of conviction that we have done good for the nation,” Goyal said.

The senior BJP leader, who is also the leader of Rajya Sabha, said the Modi government has brought a paradigm shift in the nation’s journey of progress during his tenure in the last 10 years.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken India on the path of progress, development and inclusive growth, he added.

“This is a country which is in turbocharge mode today. And I think clearly, the 2024 elections will spring a surprise to the world even beyond what we are currently hearing and seeing as different estimates,” Goyal said.

Asked whether the NDA includes BJD, the BJP leader said that it would be clear in a couple of days which all parties are part of the NDA.

“NDA is an inclusive alliance of well-meaning good parties, and all good parties are invited to be a part of this journey to make India a superpower,” Goyal said.

The Election Commission is expected to announce the poll schedule soon and the elections are likely to be held in April-May.

The BJP won 303 seats in the 2019 polls but currently, it has 290 members in Lok Sabha for various reasons, including some MPs recently resigning after winning assembly polls.

The ruling BJP has named 34 Union ministers in the first list of 195 candidates.

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