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'Naya Kashmir': Amit Shah's clear message - 'Three families' destroyed the province

WebdeskFeb 16, 2021, 06:35 AM IST

'Naya Kashmir': Amit Shah's clear message - 'Three families' destroyed the province

New Delhi: Bifurcation of Ladakh from Jammu and Kashmir or the new legislative measures have nothing to do with 'statehood' for the union territory. The process would take some more time, asserted Union Home Minister Amit Shah, a compatriot of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in ensuring abrogation of Article 370. Speaking in Lok Sabha, Shah said: "Soon after bringing on track your development, which has been stalled by three families, Jammu and Kashmir will get full statehood in due time". The missive from the Home Minister could not be clearer. The three families - Abdullahs, Muftis and of course Gandhis! To be precise - 'Nehru-Gandhis' had certainly looted and benefited from the erstwhile arrangements. In fact, in 2019 also when Shah had written himself to history abrogating the law that insulted Indian nationhood, he had said categorically that in no way the Art 370 had 'connected' Jammu and Kashmir to Bharat. "Can the three families, who have ruled in Jammu and Kashmir for years, tell what they have done for the health of the people there? I want to tell the House with pride that in 17 months, we have sent an amount of ₹881 crores from the ministry of health under PMDP (Prime Minister's Development Package) in Jammu and Kashmir," Shah said on Saturday (Feb 13, 2021). In fact, Shah (in 2019) had rejected the then Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad Azad's argument that Article 370 connected Jammu and Kashmir to India. Rather, he had said - "Maharaja Hari Singh signed J&K Instrument of Accession on October 27 Oct 1947, but the Article 370 came in 1954 only". On the historic day of August 5, 2019, Shah also had articulated his points of conviction pretty well - "Under the umbrella of Article 370 three families looted Jammu and Kashmir for years. Due to Article 370, the people of Jammu and Kashmir live in poverty. They could not get the benefits of reservation". The clock has taken a turn now. In Circa 2021 - February 13, the Home Minister piloted the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and said - “You (Opposition) have said that the Prime Minister and the Home Minister promised that full statehood will be restored. I again want to promise the people of Jammu and Kashmir that it will definitely happen. Soon after bringing on track your development, which has been stalled by three families, Jammu and Kashmir will get full statehood in due time. It has nothing to do with this Bill". He said, Panchayati Raj has been restarted in Jammu and Kashmir. "Earlier, three people were ruling the family in Jammu and Kashmir, so they were in favour of Article 370. The elections to the lower panchayat in Jammu and Kashmir were held in December 2018 with 74 per cent turnout. Kashmir had never witnessed voting on this scale in history," he said. Around 3,650 sarpanches were elected there, 33,000 panchs were elected. Now there will not be a leader from the dynasty of king and queen, the leader will be elected by vote, Shah said. He further clarified, "The possibility of the restoration of full statehood does not end with this Bill. I want to make it clear". “I have said it before and reiterate now... Upayukta Samay par Jammu-Kashmir ko statehood diya jayega (Jammu and Kashmir will be granted statehood at an appropriate time),” Amit Shah said. "Nowhere is it written (in the draft law) that statehood will not be granted. Where do you draw this (conclusion) from?”, he said as several oppositions have said that bringing this Bill means that Jammu and Kashmir will not get statehood". In response to jaundiced view observations by some members and also sheer politicking by many, he said - “Even now I want to say that let us not make Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh part of politics. There are many other things for politics. Come to the political arena… no one is afraid. This is a sensitive part of the country. They have been wounded many times". Diagnosing the malady well, Shah said, "They (common people in J&K) have doubts and misunderstandings in their mind. It is the duty of this House to apply balm, and not scratch it". His fervent appeal was - "We should not see Jammu and Kashmir from a petty political mindset". Initiating the debate on the Bill, Congress floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, “You say you will bring back Gilgit-Baltistan. That’s a matter for later. But at least bring back those who were internally displaced, those who can’t go to Kashmir Valley". “The dreams that you had shown after the abrogation of Article 370 have not been fulfilled. J&K has not returned to normalcy," he claimed. Hasnain Masoodi of the National Conference said due to the rise in encounters in rural and urban areas, development has taken a backseat even though from the Modi government's perspective, the Article 370 was removed aiming at development. The politics of jaundiced views got reflected during the parliamentary proceedings itself. AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi said there were only five Kashmiri Muslims among 24 Secretary posts in J&K. Moreover, out of 58 IAS officers, he said only 12 were Muslims. As expected Shah countered such logic strongly - “You divide the bureaucracy on the basis of Hindu-Muslim. What is this concept? Can a Hindu officer not serve Muslims? Can a Muslim officer not serve Hindus". Owaisi, a neo self-styled champion of minority rights, got piece of mind from Shah - "You call yourself secular and divide the number of officers on the basis of Hindu and Muslim… It will not bring peace in Kashmir". Shah also said it has only been 17 months since Art 370 was abrogated and wondered how the Congress and other opposition parties were seeking answers from the government. "Have you come with details of what you did for 70 years?” The Home Minister also said Kashmir will be connected by the Railways by 2022. The new bill is aimed to merge the Jammu and Kashmir cadre Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), and Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officers with that of the Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram, and Union Territory (AGMUT).

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