Will grant statehood to J&K at 'appropriate time': Amit Shah
Union Home Affairs Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said statehood will be granted back to Jammu & Kashmir at an appropriate time, during a discussion on the Jammu & Kashmir Reorganization (Amendment) Bill, 2021, in Lok Sabha. He also slammed some opposition members for claiming that the Bill—introduced and passed in Lok Sabha on Saturday—negates J&K's chances of getting its erstwhile statehood back. Here's more.
'Bill has got nothing to do with the statehood'
"Nowhere is it written that Jammu and Kashmir would not get the statehood. Where are you drawing the conclusion from?" Shah said during the discussion in Lok Sabha. "I have said in this House and I say it again...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.
'I have clarified the intentions,' says Shah
"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," Shah said. He was replying to Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury who questioned him about the promises he made to people following the abrogation of Article 370 that provided special status to Jammu & Kashmir.
Ghulam Nabi Azad reiterated Congress's demand to restore statehood
To recall, senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition, Ghulam Nabi Azad, on Monday, also reiterated his party's demand for the restoration of the statehood status to Jammu & Kashmir. "You (Shah) had promised that statehood will be restored...But this Bill creates suspicion government wants to keep J&K as a union territory," he had said.
Bill was passed by Rajya Sabha on February 8
The Bill aims to merge the Jammu & Kashmir cadre officers of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), the Indian Police Service (IPS), and the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) with the Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram, and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre. It was introduced in Rajya Sabha on February 4 to replace the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021, and was passed on February 8.
'Should look within if they are even fit to demand'
Shah on Saturday criticized the Opposition, especially the Congress, for seeking answers about the withdrawal of Jammu & Kashmir's special status and what the government has done for the erstwhile state since 2019. "I'll 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," he said.
On the promises made during abrogation of Article 370
"We were asked...about promises made during abrogation of Article 370. It has been 17 months since...and you are demanding an account? Did you bring the account of what you did for 70 years? Had you worked properly...you need not have asked us," said Shah.