Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will be given statehood “at an appropriate time” once development of the erstwhile state was put on the track.
Speaking at the Lok Sabha on Saturday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that dilution of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir is not unconstitutional as claimed by opposition, adding that Supreme Court would have stayed it it was so.
Home Minister Shah, responding to a debate on an amendment to the J&K Reorganisation act, 2019 – which split the former state into two union territories after Article 370, said that Jammu and Kashmir will be reorganised as a state at an appropriate time in the future.
“I have said in this House, and I repeat it – this bill has got nothing to do with the statehood of Jammu & Kashmir. Statehood will be given… at an appropriate time,” Home Minister Shah said.
Further, the Home Minister said, “Many MPs said bringing the amendment means J&K won’t get statehood. I am piloting the bill as I brought it. I have clarified my intentions. Nowhere is it written that Jammu and Kashmir won’t get statehood. Where are you drawing this conclusion from?”
Earlier on Monday, Rajya Sabha Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad had reiterated the Congress party’s demand to restore statehood status to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Amendments provides merger of J&K cadre
The fresh amendment to the bill provides for the merger of the Jammu and Kashmir cadre of IAS and IPS with the AGMUT cadre. The J&K Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill seeks to merge the J&K cadre of all-India services officers with the Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre.
Attacking the Congress party over its opposition to the legislation, he said that the Congress always avoided taking a clear stance on the revocation of Article 370 and has refrained from challenging it in the Supreme Court. The Home Minister also said that Congress had no right to ask the government about development done in the last 17 months when “it had not given an account of its work over 70 years in power”.
Highlighting the Modi government’s achievements in Jammu and Kashmir, Home Minister Amit Shah also said that the Union Territory had seen record development during the last 17 months.
In August 2019, the Union Government had abrogated the controversial Article 370 that gave special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the region into two Union Territories- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
Kashmiri Pandits will be settled, jobs to be created: HM Amit Shah
On Saturday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah also stressed that the Modi government will resettle all displaced Kashmiri Pandits in the valley by 2022 and create 25,000 jobs for the people and increase connectivity to the region.
The Home Minister said that the government provides Rs 13,000 per month to the families of 44,000 Kashmiri Pandits who have relief cards.
“The government also provides free ration and has plans to settle them back in their houses in the Valley by 2022,” Home Minister Shah said.
Allaying fears of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, Home Minister assured that “no one will lose their land in the Union Territory” as the government has enough land for development work.
“The biggest hurdle to set up industries in Jammu and Kashmir was that they did not get land if they wanted to invest there. After the withdrawal of Article 370, we changed the law of the land. Now the situation is such that the industries will be established inside Kashmir,” the Home Minister said.