Modi Government’s top priority is nothing but bringing peace and development of the region – Amit Shah
Reiterating that Centre’s commitment is to bring peace and development “first” in Jammu and Kashmir, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday informed Lok Sabha that statehood will be given “at an appropriate time”. Replying to the debate on J&K Re-organisation (Amendment) Bill, which is including the AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram-Union Territory) cadre in the Jammu & Kashmir, Shah said that Modi Government’s top priority is nothing but the development of the region. “You people asking me what happened after scrapping Article 370 in 17 months while forgetting how three families ruled the state for 70 years?,” said the Home Minister reiterating that the statehood will be given in “appropriate time”.
“You people don’t read the Bill properly. This is just about AGMUT cadre inclusion in J&K and Ladakh. This Bill has nothing to do with statehood. You people during a debate just talk about Article 370. It is gone. It was only a temporary clause which you people kept for 70 years and now asking me when statehood will be given back. I am telling you statehood will be given at an appropriate time. Narendra Modi’s Government is committed to bringing peace and development in the region first,” said Shah in an offensive mode.
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.
“I am amazed that you people now talking about Secularism and making objection on Hindu officer posting in Muslim populated region. What kind of secularism is this,” Shah said challenging the Opposition, witnessing many arguments with Treasury and Opposition Benches. He was replying to the objections against the Bill which was already passed in Rajya Sabha, raised by Opposition leaders Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Assaduddin Owaisi, Manish Tewari and N K Premachandran.
Amit Shah’s full fiery speech of more than an hour can listen here:
Speaking in the Lok Sabha on J&K reorganisation (amendment) Bill-2021. https://t.co/GUmh8GQibT
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) February 13, 2021
At some point, there was an argument between Chowdhury and Shah. “You claim all in Jammu and Kashmir done by Narendra Modi. Please also claim Dal Lake also created by Modi,” said Chowdhury, provoking BJP MPs.
Home Minister also slammed some opposition members for their claim that the proposed law negates the hopes of the region getting back its erstwhile statehood. This legislation has nothing to do with statehood, and Jammu and Kashmir will be accorded the status at an appropriate time, Shah reiterated.
He said the region’s Union Territory status is temporary and then 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 in August 2019.
Jammu and Kashmir have been a top priority for the current government since it took power in 2014, he 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. He 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.
The Bill seeks to replace the Ordinance to merge the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) cadre of civil services officer with the Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre. Shah said the government expects that around 25,000 government jobs will be created in Jammu and Kashmir by 2022.