Statehood To J&K At Appropriate Time: Amit Shah

Says ‘No One Will Lose Their Land’, Promises 25000 Jobs In 2022

New Delhi: Home Minister Amit Shah gave an assurance in Lok Sabha on Saturday that the Centre will grant full statehood to Jammu and Kashmir at an appropriate time and asserted that the government has done more for it since Article 370 was scrapped in August 2019 than those who ruled it for generations.

Replying to a discussion on the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, he also slammed some Opposition members for their claim that the proposed law negates the hopes of the region getting back its erstwhile statehood.

The bill to merge the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) cadre of all-India services officers with the Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre was later passed by Lok Sabha by a voice vote.

The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2021 has already been passed by Rajya Sabha. It replaces an ordinance issued last month.

This legislation has nothing to do with statehood, and Jammu and Kashmir will be accorded the status at an appropriate time, Shah said.

He took a swipe at the Congress and other parties — which had backed Article 370 of the Constitution that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir — saying this was a temporary provision but they continued with it for over 70 years before the Modi government annulled it.

Jammu and Kashmir has been a top priority for the current government since it took power in 2014, he said.

Responding to Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Shah said opposition parties were free to visit the region.

Chowdhury had claimed that foreign delegations were being taken to the region, no all-party delegation was sent.

The home minister also gave the assurance to the people of Jammu and Kashmir that “no one will lose their land”. The government has sufficient land for development works, Shah said.

Decentralisation and devolution of power have taken place in the union territory following the revocation of Article 370, Shah said, noting that panchayat elections saw over 51 per cent voting. Panchayats have been given administrative and financial powers for local development, something they lacked earlier, he added.

Now people chosen by the masses will rule Jammu and Kashmir, not those born to “kings and queens”, he said, attacking dynastic parties in the region.

Even our rivals could not allege any wrongdoing in these polls which were conducted fairly and peacefully, he said.

Work on two AIIMS in the region has begun, and the Kashmir Valley will be connected to the railways by 2022, the Union Home Minister said.

Attacking the opposition, he said while they were seeking a report card from the government about the development of Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019, “have you brought a report card of what you have done in the last 70 years”.

Shah said the government expects that around 25,000 government jobs will be created in Jammu and Kashmir by 2022.

Replying to AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi, he said 4G services are resumed not under pressure of any foreign government.

“This is Modi’s government and in this, the country’s government and Parliament takes decisions for its people,” he added.

Criticising Owaisi, he said the AIMIM leader was creating a divide between Hindu and Muslim officers.

Citing certain developmental projects, he said by 2022 we will be providing rail connectivity to Kashmir valley.

Since the imposition of President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir, the government has almost completed the work of giving electricity to every house.

Shah said the government has changed the land laws to facilitate setting up of industry. “We are providing Rs 13,000 per month cash assistance to those 44,000 displaced Kashmiri families who have ‘Rahat Cards’,” he said adding they were displaced because Congress had failed to provide them security.

“We should not do politics in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. There are several issues over which politics can be done. These are sensitive places and people have suffered a lot. We need to assuage their feelings,” he observed.

Participaing in the discussion earlier, Owaisi said the bill will further alienate the Muslims and Kashmir. He also sought to know about the number of youths from the Valley arrested under the Public Security Act (PSA).

Manish Tewari (Cong) said when the government says the statehood will be restored, the bill to merge the J&K cadre with AGMUT is a contrary step.

Shah explained that states such as Mizoram, Goa and Arunachal Pradesh are part of the cadre and the suggestion is unfounded.

Attacking Chowdhury for his comment that the cadre should be local and officers having ground knowledge should be appointed there, Jamyang Namgyal, BJP MP from Ladakh, said when local officers were appointed the Valley on the same logic, there was no let up in cases of terrorism.

He said when it came to promoting locals it was not applied to the Valmikis, Gorkhas and those came from west Pakistan.

Namgyal said the move will ensure that efficient and experienced officers will be able to work in Ladakh and even officers from the UT can work in other parts of the country.

‘Cricket Bats Have Replaced Guns In Kashmir’

Shah said that the biggest achievement of the Prime Minister Narendera Modi led government in Jammu and Kashmir was that the youth in the Union Territory are holding cricket bats instead of guns in their hands while development is touching new heights in a place that was ignored for 70-years.

“I was forced to give a detailed reply as some members alleged that no development was taking place in J&K after Article 370 revocation,” Shah told Parliament while replying to the discussion on the J&K Reorganisation Bill-2020.

He said the biggest achievement of the PM Modi led government in J&K was that today’s youth in J&K are holding bats in their hands instead of guns.

“This is what we have done in J&K in just 17 months (post abrogation of article 370),” Shah said, adding that as far as the statehood to J&K UT, “it will be given at the right time.”

He said that he was ready to give clarification to every issues raised in the parliament. “What did others (Congress) do in J&K for the past 70 years? What others couldn’t do, we did just in 17 months,” Shah said.

The Union Home Minister said that the country did not need Article 370 as there was no place for two constitutions in one country.

“We have covered 50,000 families under the health scheme and more people are being covered. Every single resident will be covered under this scheme,” he said.

Shah said that 4G internet services were also restored across J&K and by 2022, J&K will be connected to the rest of the country through the train.

“We are doing everything possible to boost tourism,” he said, adding two AIIMS are being set up in J&K while seven new medical colleges will come up in the UT soon.

“This will help 1100 youth of J&K to become doctors. And you (the opposition) is asking us what we have done?” he said.

He said dynasty rule prevailed in the UT for the past 70 years and those who ruled filled their own coffers.

“On the power sector front, in the past 70 years out of total availability of 14000 MWs only 3500 MWs were explored. In Just 17 months, we ensured that 3450 MWs of power was generated. And members ask us what PM Modi led government has done in J&K,” Shah said.

He said that the biggest hurdle for J&K’s development was that people couldn’t buy land there. “This issue stands resolved and factories are all set to come up in the J&K UT,” Shah said. Today, the Union Home Minister said that J&K is far better than Rajasthan and Punjab.

He said people of J&K should not worry about their land as “nobody’s land will be snatched.

“We have enough government land bank that can be used for setting up industries that will give fillip to J&K’s economy,” Shah said, adding “Land bank to be created out of the land being retrieved under Roshni Land retrieval process,”

He further said that Congress and other parties gave away land under the Roshni scheme and his party was retrieving the same for setting up industries. “Roshni scheme has been rolled back as it was a major source of corruption,” he said.

He said that Kashmiri Pandits living in various parts of the country are getting Rs 13000 on monthly basis while 3000 KPs have been provided jobs and the process is on to build homes of 6000 KPs in J&K.

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