Jalgaon (Maharashtra): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday challenged the country’s opposition parties to bring back Article 370 and Article 35A for Jammu and Kashmir.

“From the holy land of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, I am challenging the opposition — make your stand clear and announce whether you support the government’s decision to scrap Article 370 and Article 35A or not,” thundered Modi, addressing his first election rally in Jalgaon, north Maharashtra.

He said if the opposition had courage, they would include in their election manifestos in the October 21 Maharashtra polls and in future elections that they would revert Article 370 and reverse the BJP government’s August 5 decision.

Modi said the government is endeavouring to ensure the return to full normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir and it would take another four months or so to achieve that.

Taking a swipe at the opposition parties and their leaders for mouthing what he termed as “the same language as a neighbouring country [Pakistan]”, he said “there seems to be a great coordination between them”.

Modi reiterated that on August 5 the government did something that everybody thought was impossible by abrogating Article 370 for Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh to enable the people there to join the national mainstream and progress.

“Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are not just pieces of land for us, they represent India’s crown,” Modi said.

Training guns at what he called “the tired allies”, Modi said the opposition is shocked by the amount of work done by the BJP government in the past five years, and they also have come around to accept that the BJP-Shiv Sena in Maharashtra is also performing well.

“Such ‘tired allies’ may support each other, but that is not sufficient to fulfil the dreams and aspirations of the people and youth of the state,” he said.

Urging the people to bring back “a strong government” under the leadership of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, he listed various achievements of the administration that is changing the lives of the youth, women and farmers in the state.

“We are functioning to the fullest capacity to help achieve the dreams of every poor person in the state and the rest of the country by 2022. The economic situation in the entire region will change very quickly,” Modi said.

He said that Rs3.5 trillion (Dh181.4 billion) would be spent on the Water Life Mission alone to bring water connections to each home in the country, and farmers would be pushed to become exporters in which the food processing industry would play a crucial role.

Dwelling on New India, for which the people voted in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Modi said that the country enjoys an unprecedented position in the world comity which was made possible because of the 1.3 billion countrymen.

“The ‘New India’ in not about securing our present, but also marching towards progress. We are not bound by unnecessary bonds of the past, but strengthening the present and deciding the future. The whole world is supporting India,” Modi said.