Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said that the Article 370 of the Constitution that gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir is only a temporary provision and not a permanent one.
Replying to his first debate in the Lok Sabha after becoming Home Minister, Shah said, “As far as the question of 370 is concerned, you must know that it is mentioned as temporary in the Constitution and not permanent. And this was done in agreement with Sheikh Abdullah.”
The debate was on a Bill to grant reservation to those living along the International Border in J&K and a resolution to extend President’s Rule in J&K by another six months — both were passed by voice vote.
Shah further went on to blame the first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, for Article 370. “As many as 630 princely states acceded to India. None have Article 370. Nehru negotiated with one state and it has Article 370,” he said.
“There are two aspects to the debate on fear. Those (in Kashmir) who love peace are happy and enthusiastic that the stranglehold of just three families in Kashmir politics has been broken. But those who harbour feelings of secession in their hearts are scared. They should be scared and this fear is only going to increase,” added Shah.
“Those (in Kashmir) who have anti-India thoughts in their minds should fear us. We are not members of the ‘tukde-tukde gang’,” said Shah without directly addressing anyone.
“There should be a democracy, but we should also talk about what all was done for vote-bank politics. Why was Jamaat-e-Islami allowed to function? What was Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front trying to liberate? You didn’t ban them. We had to do it. You gave security to those who engaged in anti-national talk. We found out they had no threat to their life and removed 919 people from that list. They had got security merely for being anti-national,” said Shah as he talked of the ‘vote-bank’ politics.
He however did not deny that previous governments, too, tried to fight terrorism in the Valley. “But there is a difference in the way we fight and the results too. Earlier terrorists were engaged with us our own soil after infiltration from Pakistan. But the Modi government struck at the roots of terror and hit them in their own house,” said Shah.
“The approach of our Prime Minister and the government has not changed, nor will it ever change. It is what it always was, and shall remain so,” he said.