Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday hit out at the Congress and Rahul Gandhi while justifying the decision of the Centre to abrogate Article 370 and 35(a) in Jammu and Kashmir and dividing the state in two Union Territories.

According to Shah, Articles 370 and 35a were a hurdle in connecting the state with the entire country and while “Congress sees this as (a) political issue, we see it as nationalism.”

Shah said, “Congress leader Rahul Gandhi says Article 370 is a political matter. He has just arrived in politics. We have been giving our lives for the last three generations for Kashmir.”

He further added, “Kashmir has been a political issue for the Congress but for us, it is a matter of patriotism.”

He even blamed former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru for the Kashmir issue.

“The issue of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) wouldn’t be there had Jawaharlal Nehru not announced an untimely ceasefire in 1947 when the Army was fighting against the Pakistani infiltrators,” Amit Shah added.

Setting the tone for Maharashtra Assembly Elections, the Home Minister also invoked the people of Maharashtra asking for their support on the issue of scrapping Article 370. He said, “The people of Maharashtra will show the political leaders resisting the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A their right place. This is the land where Swaraj began, and you need to choose which side you are on.”

Assembly elections will be held in Maharashtra  on October 21. The five year term of Legislative Assembly of Maharashtra expires on November 9.

BJP poll campaign started with Maha Jan Aadesh Yatra headed by Maharashra’s Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, last month, to connect to voters across Maharashta. Infact PM Narendra Modi too took part in the campaign on Thursday.

The Opposition parties, mainly Congress and NCP in Maharashtra have seen a mass exodus of its leaders to BJP and Shiv Sena. In Maharashtra, the BJP won 122 seats in 2014, while its alliance partner Shiv Sena won 63.