Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah on Wednesday attacked the Congress over the party's manifesto promise to review the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in Jammu and Kashmir, saying that the saffron party will not allow anybody to touch the controversial Act. Addressing a rally in Jammu and Kashmir's Udhampur, Shah said, "The Congress and its leaders should feel ashamed of what they have announced in their manifesto -- to dilute AFSPA and withdraw sedition clause."
The BJP chief said that his party would stand behind the security forces like a rock and would not allow anyone to touch the AFSPA. "Nobody can dilute AFSPA as the BJP will be standing like a rock behind security forces who are protecting our borders," Shah said.
The Congress party on Tuesday released its manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections 2019. In the 55-page manifesto, the Congress promised to review the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act if elected to power. The party had also proposed to strike down the British-era sedition law, citing that the law has been "misused" and become "redundant because of subsequent laws".
Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) defines the offense of 'sedition'. It states, "Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government established by law shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added."
The BJP leader also warned Pakistan amid the increasing incidents of ceasefire violations, saying that Indian forces will retaliate by firing shells in response to every single bullet coming from across the border. "Each and every part of Jammu and Kashmir is a gemstone in the crown of mother India. BJP will not allow anybody to snatch Jammu & Kashmir from India," he said.