He made a gathering chant the slogan before his first roadshow in the morning. It came in the wake of PDP chief and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti’s criticism that Shah was “daydreaming” about abrogating Article 370 of the Constitution that provides a special status to the state.
Saturday was the BJP’s 39th foundation day.The first roadshow started from Sarkhej area in the morning, while the second, held late in the evening, passed through the Sabarmati area of the city.
Before embarking on the roadshow from Sarkhej, Shah garlanded photographs of Jan Sangh founders Deendayal Upadhyaya and Shyama Prasad Mukhejee.
He then made the gathering chant, “Jaha hue balidan Mukherjee, woh Kashmir hamara hai. Sara ka sara hamara hai. (The Kashmir where Mukherjee sacrificed his life belongs to us. All of it belongs to us.)”
Reacting to Shah’s reported remarks underscoring the BJP’s commitment to abrogate Article 370, Mufti had said if that happened, mainstream politicians in Kashmir, including her, will have to reconsider their future course of action.
Shah conducted the roadshow in an open vehicle with Gujarat BJP president Jitu Vaghani, covering several parts of Ahmedabad city which fall in the Gandhinagar constituency.
The roadshow which began in the morning passed through Vejalpur, Anandnagar, Jivraj Park, Mansi Crossroads and Muslim-dominated Juhapura before ending in Haveli in Vastrapur area around 1 pm.
People were seen coming out of their houses to greet him despite the scorching heat along the 10-km route.
The second roadshow through the Sabarmati Assembly constituency, which has a sizable Patidar (Patel) population, covered a distance of 15 km.
Shah was accompanied by Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel and Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja among others during the roadshow in the evening.
Hundreds of BJP workers on motorbikes also took part in the roadshows.
The BJP chief did not make any speech, but tweeted later that people’s response was “overwhelming”.
Shah, a Rajya Sabha MP and former Gujarat minister, has replaced BJP veteran L K Advani, who had been winning from Gandhinagar since 1998, as the party’s candidate.