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4-min read

Amit Shah Blames Congress, Nehru for Sowing ‘Seeds of Mistrust’ in J&K, Attacks Dynastic Politics

Responding to charges of growing divide between Srinagar and New Delhi, Shah agreed there is a chasm between Kashmir and India, blaming Congress leaders for planting the seeds of mistrust.


Updated:June 29, 2019, 9:17 AM IST
Amit Shah Blames Congress, Nehru for Sowing ‘Seeds of Mistrust’ in J&K, Attacks Dynastic Politics
Union Minister Amit Shah addresses the Lok Sabha on Friday.

New Delhi: Kashmiris are our brothers and sisters and we want to embrace them, Amit Shah said while moving the amendment bill of the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004, in the Lok Sabha on Friday. The legislation will provide reservation in educational institutions and government jobs to those living within 10 km of the international border (IB) along the Line of Control (LoC).

"It won't hurt us to give them extra out of our pockets," Shah said, adding that the people of the state had suffered a lot.

Responding to charges of growing divide between Srinagar and New Delhi, Shah agreed there is a chasm between Kashmir and India, blaming Congress leaders for planting the seeds of mistrust.

“Farcical elections were conducted by the earlier Congress governments in Kashmir. That sowed the seeds of mistrust. Till Morarji Desai and Atal Bihari Vajpayee's governments conducted the first free and fair elections in the Valley, all elections were jokes in the name of democracy,” Shah said.

The Union Home Minister further said the elections in the state would be held in the next six months after the ongoing Amarnath Yatra concludes, adding that the Centre would extend all its support whenever the Election Commission comes out with a schedule for polls.

An indication in Shah's speech could be the 1987 elections that have been reported to be heavily rigged by the Congress and its alliance partner in the state – the National Conference, then headed by Farooq Abdullah. Although Abdullah went on to assume the chief minister's chair, the rise in militancy after it forced him to resign and President's rule was imposed in the Valley till fresh elections were held in 1996.

Shah also launched a scathing attack against the ruling dynasts in the Valley, saying that the common people wanted a break from the Abdullahs and other political families who had maintained an iron grip on everything from panchayat polls to Lok Sabha election, stifling democracy in the process. “It is when a non-dynastic party has taken hold of the state that the people are now even happier,” he said.

Shah slammed the previous Congress governments for invoking article 356 (President’s rule) to undemocratically dismiss governments, and said that Congress helped the Muslim Conference, started in Kashmir by Sheikh Abdullah, by not setting up its party units there. "The Congress put all its eggs in Abdullah's basket and he ran away with the basket and, as a result, he became the Prime Minister there," Shah told the Parliament.

"We will protect the Kashmiri culture," Shah said, adding that opposing India does not fall in the ambit of ‘Kashmiriyat’.

“Those who want to separate J&K from India must have fear in their minds. Some say there is an atmosphere of fear there. Those who are against India should have fear in their hearts. We are not part of the ‘tukde tukde’ gang. We are not against common people of J&K,” Shah said, adding that a process of creating jobs for the youth has been put in place.

Shah accused the Congress of terrorism in Kashmir and responsible for the state's current situation, alleging that former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru's decisions were behind India losing one-third of its territory to Pakistan.

Shah also asked the Congress why the death of Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee in a jail in Jammu and Kashmir was not probed by the then governments. “His death was also not probed. Why? Was he not a senior opposition leader? A leader from Bengal, a former Union Minister?” Shah asked.

The Lok Sabha on Friday gave its nod to the government’s proposal of seeking extension of President's rule in Jammu and Kashmir from July 3. The state has been under President's rule since December 2018 after the six-month long Governor's rule ended.

Responding to a question, Shah said assembly elections could not be held along with Lok Sabha elections in the state as large number of security personnel were required for the purpose. He added that Article 370 of the Constitution, which extends special status to Jammu and Kashmir, is "temporary in nature" and "not permanent".

In his maiden speech as Home Minister in the lower house, Shah launched a blistering attack on the Congress alleging that it made the maximum use of Article 356 of the Constitution to dismiss elected governments in various states in the past.

"Today one-third of Kashmir is not with us. Who announced ceasefire when Pakistan encroached in Kashmir after independence and occupied one-third of its territory. Jawaharlal Nehru announced ceasefire and Pakistan took away that part of Kashmir," he said alleging that Nehru did not take the then Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Sardar Patel into confidence. If he would have taken Patel into confidence before announcing ceasefire, then Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) would not have formed and terrorism would not have existed in Kashmir," Shah said.

Continuing his tirade against the opposition party, Shah said so far Article 356 (President's Rule) was imposed 132 times all over the country, of which the Congress used it 93 times to dismiss state governments.

"Some in the opposition said that through President Rule efforts are being made to throttle democracy. 132 times Article 356 has been imposed in the country, of which 93 times was by Congress. We have never used Article 356 for political gains," he said.

Shah said the government withdrew security of 919 people in the state as there was no security threat for them. "Earlier people who used to speak against the country were given security cover," he said, adding whereas those who spoke for India were actually killed in the state.

(With inputs from PTI)

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