NEW DELHI: Indian Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said that the statehood would be given to Jammu and Kashmir at an “appropriate” time. While replying to the discussion on the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill of 2021 in Lok Sabha, Shah said, “Many MPs said that bringing the bill means that the union territory would not get statehood. I am piloting the Bill, I brought it. I have clarified the intentions.” “Nowhere is it written that Jammu and Kashmir would not get the statehood. Where are you drawing the conclusion from? I have said in this House and I say it again that this Bill has got nothing to do with the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir. Statehood would be given to the UT at an appropriate time,” he added.
Earlier on Monday, Rajya Sabha Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad reiterated the Congress party’s demand to restore statehood status to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
In August 2019, the Union Government abrogated Article 370 which gave special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcated the region into two Union Territories- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
Shah also slammed the Opposition and asked for an account of what they did in the past 70 years.
“I have no objection, I will give an account for everything. But those who were given the opportunity to govern for generations should look within if they are even fit to demand an account,” the minister said.
“We were asked what did we do about promises made during abrogation of Article 370. It has been 17 months since the abrogation and you are demanding an account for it. Did you bring the account of what you did for 70 years? Had you worked properly, you need not have asked us,” he added.
The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2021was introduced by the Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy in Rajya Sabha on February 4 to replace Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021. The bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Monday.
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).
Amit Shah on Saturday said refugees from West Pakistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) have been provided domicile certificates in Jammu and Kashmir.
Replying to a discussion on Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill of 2021 in Lok Sabha, Shah said the Opposition is asking what the NDA Government has done for Jammu and Kashmir since 2019 and asked what ruling parties in Jammu and Kashmir could do in the last 70 years. “Pakistan, West Pakistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir refugees along with 2642 Valmiki families, 592 Gurkhas and 43 other families have been provided domicile certificates,” he said.
The House later passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2021 which was earlier passed by the Rajya Sabha.
He said the government has ended injustice that people faced over the years and alleged that ruling parties of Jammu and Kashmir had practised “vote bank” politics.
“Are human rights available for some people, not for the refugees who came here from Pakistan or Kashmiri Pandits who were forced to run away? Not for Sufi saints? And not for the Valmikis who have been not provided voting rights over the last 70 years,” Shah said.
“Why you (previous governments) have no feeling for them? Because they were not your vote bank, you see human rights in terms of vote bank, but we (BJP) see human rights as it is, without any fear, you (previous governments) have no courage,” Shah added.
He said around 25,000 government jobs will be provided in Jammu and Kashmir by 2022.
He said government land in Jammu and Kashmir will be used for development work in Jammu and Kashmir and assured people that no one will lose their land.
The bill seeks 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). (ANI)