Press Trust of India

Full statehood to JK would be restored at appropriate time: Amit Shah

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New Delhi: Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday assured the country that the beginning of building a “new and developed Kashmir” that will be free from terrorism has been made under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said that full statehood would be restored to Jammu and Kashmir at an appropriate time.

Speaking in Rajya Sabha, he also hailed the Supreme Court’s Monday verdict upholding the abrogation of Article 370 as historic and said there will now be only “one Constitution, one national flag and one prime minister”.

He attacked the opposition saying it is unable to see the change on the ground in Jammu and Kashmir after the scrapping of Article 370 and said the entire country has understood that it was first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s mistake in handling the Kashmir issue.

Shah also asserted that Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) was an integral part of India and no one can snatch it.

Replying to discussions on two new bills, he said they have ensured reservation of 24 seats to people from PoK in the J-K assembly.

“I want to assure the people of the country, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised from the ramparts of the Red Fort, that the youth of Kashmir will no longer carry guns or stones and will instead carry laptops.

“The beginning of building a ‘New Kashmir’ has been made which will be free from terrorism. The foundation of a ‘new and developed’ Kashmir has been laid and when India becomes developed, Kashmir will stand equally among the other states, where tourists from across the world would come,” he said in the Rajya Sabha.

“We are committed to providing justice to the people of Kashmir, its youth and children. We are sensitive towards them and not towards terrorists,” he also said while attacking the Congress.

“The Supreme Court verdict is a historic decision and I welcome it. Now there will be only one Constitution, one flag and one prime minister,” Shah said.

In a landmark verdict, a five-judge constitution bench headed by CJI D Y Chandrachud on Monday unanimously upheld the Centre’s August 5, 2019 decision to abrogate provisions of Article 370, while directing restoration of statehood for J&K at the earliest and holding the assembly elections by September 30, 2024.

In an apparent reference to the Nehru, Abdullah and Mufti families, Shah alleged that three families deprived the ST and poor people of Kashmir of their rights, as several laws were not implemented in Jammu and Kashmir earlier.

“They (Opposition) will not be able to see the change, there is a problem with their glasses. They are not ready to rectify their mistake…. But people do not care anymore about them. The entire country has understood that it was Nehru’s mistake,” Shah said.

He also attacked the Congress for being against the other backward classes, alleging that it was because of them that the OBCs did not get reservation under various schemes in Jammu and Kashmir, which the new bills have now ensured.

He also alleged that the Congress has always been opposed to OBCs and their rights as they opposed the Mandal Commission too.

“The Congress party has always opposed the other backward classes and their rights,” he said.

Shah also targeted the Congress and INDIA bloc over the huge recovery of cash during income tax raids on a company linked to a Congress MP from Jharkhand, wondering why he has not yet been suspended by the Congress.

He said the bank machines have also given up and the counting of notes has continued for more than five days.

He was replying to the over four-hour debate on the JK Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill and JK Reservation (Amendment) Bill – seeking to nominate two members from the Kashmiri migrant community and one representing the displaced persons from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) to the legislative assembly, besides providing reservation to certain communities in Jammu and Kashmir.

Parliament has now passed the two bills as Rajya Sabha cleared them with a voice vote on Monday after Shah’s reply. They were passed by Lok Sabha last week.

The home minister said the two bills related to Jammu and Kashmir brought by the government would give justice to those deprived of their rights for the last 75 years and asserted that reservation to the displaced people would give them a voice in the legislature.

He also alleged that Jammu and Kashmir suffered due to the “mistakes” of first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and listed decisions like the “untimely” ceasefire and taking the Kashmir issue to the United Nations among them.

The opposition led by the Congress, however, walked out of the House midway during the Home Minister’s reply.

Press Trust of India

Press Trust of India is lead news agency of India

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