Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said Article 370 of the Constitution that gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir is only a temporary provision and not a permanent one. He said this in the Lok Sabha.
He was responding to the Opposition’s argument that Jammu and Kashmir can’t be treated like other states because Article 370 gives it a special status. To this, Amit Shah said one must remember that Article 370 of the Constitution is “temporary in nature” and “not permanent”.
Scrapping Article 370 of the Constitution has been one of the pet issues that have repeatedly been mentioned in BJP’s election manifestos.
Shah was participating in a debate to extend the President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir. Later, the House passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2019, to replace an ordinance issued by the previous government.
In his speech, Amit Shah also said that assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir will be held in a democratic, free and fair manner as soon as the Election Commission announces the dates.
People living along the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir will get benefits of reservation in direct recruitment, promotion and admission in professional courses on par with those living along the Actual Line of Control (ALoC), according to the bill.
Replying to the statutory resolution seeking extension of President’s Rule in the state, and the amendment bill, Amit Shah asserted that the Modi government has ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards terrorism and its ideology is to ensure protection of borders and make the country free of terrorism.
He said the government has spent Rs 2,307 crore to upgrade security apparatus in the state.
Hitting out at the Congress and the then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, he said one-third of Jammu and Kashmir is not with India.
“Who is responsible,” he asked drawing a sharp reaction from the Congress members.
Continuing his attack on the opposition party, he said so far Article 356 (President’s Rule) was imposed 132 times all over the country, of which the Congress used it 93 times to dismiss state governments.
The Home Minister also said the government withdrew security of 919 people in the state as there was no security threat for them.
Shah said people speak against India in Jammu and Kashmir to get security cover. In fact, he said, people who speak for India face the real threat.
(With inputs from PTI)