Mumbai: Sounding the bugle for Maharashtra Assembly polls with the BJP's 'Jan Sampark Abhiyaan' over abrogation of Article 370 and 35A, Union home minister Amit Shah on Sunday expressed confidence that the work done by the state government and the Centre will pay dividends by paving the way for chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to retain power for the second consecutive term.
"This also happens to be the first programme of Maharashtra elections. The 'Jan Sampark Abhiyaan' on the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A is going on across the country. This is the first programme in Mumbai," said Shah.

"I can say it with confidence that the NDA government would be formed in the state with a three-fourth majority and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will be your Chief Minister again. If I say so, I have sufficient ground for it," said Shah.

"The work done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Devendra Fadnavis led government in the state in the last over five years is remarkable. People have already indicated their mood in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls. The ease with which Prime Minister Modi abrogated Article 370 and 35A is praiseworthy," said Shah.
"I congratulate Prime Minister Modi's bravery and grit. He removed Article 370 and 35A in the very first session of the Parliament as soon as we formed the government for the second time with 305 members," he added.
He said the Article 370 is a political issue for the Congress and its leader Rahul Gandhi while for the BJP abrogation of Article 370 and 35A is part of its effort to keep country undivided.
"Rahul Gandhi said Article 370 is a political issue. Rahul Baba, you have come into politics now, but three generations of the BJP have given their lives for Kashmir, for the abrogation of Article 370. It is not a political matter for us. It is part of our goal to keep Bharat Maa undivided," said Shah.
"Forty thousand people were killed and Kashmiri pandits, Sufis, and Sikhs were driven out from the state in the 10 years between 1990 and 2000. Rahul Gandhi cares about his vote bank and how to remain in power and hence is not moved by it. However, the sacrifice of 40,000 people is like a pain in our heart," he said.

He also said the issue of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) is because of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru announcing "untimely ceasefire" with Pakistan.

"The issue of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) would not have been there had the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru did not announce an untimely ceasefire in 1947 when the Army was strongly fighting against Pakistani infiltrators in Jammu and Kashmir," said Shah.
The Election Commission of India on Saturday announced that the single-phase Assembly elections for the 288-member Maharashtra and 90-member Haryana Assembly will be held on October 21, while the counting of votes will be done on October 24.