NEW DELHI Rajya Sabha on Monday approved for an extension of President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir for a further period of six months with effect from Wednesday (July 3, 2019). The House also passed J&K Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The bill provides for reservations in educational institutions and government jobs within 10km of the International Border in the Jammu area, just like the Line of Control in Kashmir.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who moved the bill in the Upper House, targeted Jawaharlal Nehru in his speech. Accusing Nehru of creating the Kashmir dispute, Amit Shah said: “After Maharaja’s treaty with Union of India, Kashmir became India’s integral part, what was the need to go to UN? Was it not a mistake, if we don’t learn from and accept our mistakes the coming generations will also keep making mistakes.”
Amit Shah dismissed Opposition’s claim that Modi government was spreading misinformation about Jawaharlal Nehru, “Ghulam Nabi Azad ji and Manoj Jha ji said we [Modi government] want to spread misinformation against Nehruji among the Indian public. This is wrong. This is not our intention and never will be. But, the nations which don’t learn from their mistakes in history don’t have a bright future.”
‘Will win J&K over by following Vajpayee’s path, not harsh words’
Speaking in Rajya Sabha over the J&K reservation bill, Amit Shah said BJP-led NDA government plans to win the people of Jammu and Kashmir with the path shown by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and not by using harsh words.
“Atal Bihari Vajpayee had said that solution of Kashmir’s problem should be in “Jamuriyat, Kashmiriyat, & insaniyat”, I reiterate today that Modi led government is also working on Atal ji’s path of “Jamuriyat, Kashmiriyat, & insaniyat”,” Amit Shah said.
Amit Shah said that the previous Modi government worked for the welfare of the state by starting schools, building toilets, starting widow pension, extending electricity and ensuring ample supply of food grains. “We had babus [officials] visit villages to implement the schemes,” Amit Shah told parliament.
Reason for delay in J&K polls
Taking a jibe at Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who earlier questioned the delay in assembly polls in J&K, Amit Shah said, “Azad sahab [Ghulam Nabi Azad] we don’t prefer ruling through president’s rule in J&K as you said, with God’s grace and Modi ji’s popularity we have enough state governments, 16 in total. So, it was due to security concerns that elections were not held.”
Union home minister said that it would have been difficult to hold elections in Jammu and Kashmir simultaneously with Lok Sabha polls due to lack of security personnel. They were delayed afterward due to Ramzan and then Amarnath Yatra. “There will be no delay, once election commission decides to hold elections,” Amit Shah told the House.
During his speech in Rajya Sabha, Amit Shah said that Modi government has zero tolerance for militancy.
“After this debate, all have come to a single conclusion that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. Those who want to disintegrate India… we will hit them, but those who join us… we will ensure they do not live in fear. We will ensure all facilities are given to Kashmiris, if they join us,” Amit Shah said.
Citizenship for Hindu migrants
Amit Shah said that the Centre is committed to bringing Kashmiri Pandits and Sufis back to the Valley saying a time will come when they will offer prayers at the famous Kheer Bhawani temple.
“Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave Kashmir. Many of their shrines were demolished. Sufism was targeted in Jammu and Kashmir. Sufism used to talk about unity and harmony but they were attacked. No voice was raised in the favour of Kashmiri Pandits and Sufis when they were brutally attacked. Sufis used to talk about the unity among Hindus and Muslims but they were forced to leave the Valley. Modi-led government is committed to bringing back Kashmiri Pandits,” he said.
Kashmir not just a law and order issue: CPI(M)
Asserting that the Jammu and Kashmir issue was not just related to law and order or security, the Communist Party of India (CPI) asked the NDA government at the Centre on Sunday to spell out what exactly it wanted to do in that state.
CPI national secretary D Raja also accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of “forcing” the regional parties to toe its line and claimed that the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha was “compelled” to support the saffron party.
“We have seen Union Home Minister Amit Shah giving a highly-provocative speech on Jammu and Kashmir in the Lok Sabha. The present government should spell out what exactly it wants to do in Jammu and Kashmir,” he told reporters here.
Shah had said on Friday that Article 370 of the Constitution, which provided for a special status to Jammu and Kashmir, was “temporary in nature” and “not permanent”.
Raja said the government should understand that the Jammu and Kashmir issue was not just related to the law-and-order situation in the state or security.
“It is a political issue and it should have a political solution. There is no such effort in this regard,” he said.
Rajnath Singh, the Union home minister before Shah, had taken a political delegation to Jammu and Kashmir, which had proposed to the government to engage all the stakeholders and political parties for a solution in this regard, the CPI veteran said.
“The government should take the political parties into confidence. That is not being done. He (Shah) questions Article 370. Therefore, it is not clear what exactly the present government thinks of Jammu and Kashmir,” Raja added.
Opposing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “One Nation, One Election” (ONOE) theory, he said Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was in favour of such a move.