Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani on Friday squarely blamed the Congress party for failing to settle the Kashmir issue and said it was a "mistake" on India's part to hold back its troops till the entire Kashmir came under its control in the 1948 and 1971 wars with Pakistan.
Addressing an election rally in Thalaja village in Bhavnagar district, Advani said India should have insisted on Simla accord containing a clause that Jammu and Kashmir was its integral part, when the historic document was signed in 1972 between Indira Gandhi and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
"We should have extracted a commitment from Zulfikar Ali Bhutto that J&K is an integral part of India when he literally begged for the release of 93,000 Pakistani Prisoners of War," Advani said.
Advani said Pakistan was resorting to proxy war and fomenting cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir because it was afraid to take on India "openly" after beaten roundly in the previous three wars.
Stoutly defending caretaker Chief Minister Narendra Modi's policies, Advani said he has provided good governance despite being defamed for his handling of the communal riots. Answering critics questioning the Gaurav Yatra, Advani said such a yatra was necessary for restoring the pride of Gujarat after the way the state was defamed within the country and abroad.
Advani assured the voters that the BJP would able to provide good governance if returned to power.