What Amit Shah said on Jammu and Kashmir in Parliament: 10 points
Union home minister Amit Shah on Saturday said Jammu and Kashmir will get back the status of a state at an appropriate time. The home minister was replying to the discussion on the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill of 2021 in the Lok Sabha.
The government had in August 2019 revoked Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and proposed that the state be bifurcated into two Union territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The move had provoked outrage from the National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and praise from leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Here is what Shah said in Parliament during the discussion:
- It is not mentioned anywhere in this bill that it will not give statehood to Jammu and Kashmir. I say this again that the bill has nothing to do with the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir. The state will be given the status of statehood at the appropriate time.
- Here it was said that what happened to the promises made at the time of removing Article 370? I will definitely answer that. But it has only been 17 months since Article 370 was removed. Have you come to terms with what you did for 70 years?
- Can the three families, who have ruled in Jammu and Kashmir for years, tell what they have done for the health of the people there? I want to tell the House with pride that in 17 months, we have sent an amount of ₹881 crore from the ministry of health under PMDP (Prime Minister's Development Package) in Jammu and Kashmir.
- Panchayati Raj has been restarted in Jammu and Kashmir after our government came to power. Earlier, three people were ruling the family in Jammu and Kashmir, so they were in favour of Article 370. (Check this point) The elections to the lower panchayat in Jammu and Kashmir were held in December 2018 with 74% of the voter turnout. Kashmir had never witnessed voting on this scale in history.
- Around 3,650 sarpanches were elected there, 33,000 panchs were elected. Now there will not be a leader from the dynasty of king and queen, the leader will be elected by vote.
- We have empowered the panchayats of Jammu and Kashmir. We gave them a budget. We have given 21 subjects of administration to the panchayats. We have put nearly ₹1,500 crore directly into bank accounts which has paved the way for the development of villages in Jammu and Kashmir.
- Does the Kashmiri youth not have the right to join the all-India cadre of the country? Had the schools not been torched, the children of Kashmir would have also become IAS (Indian Administrative Service) and IPS (Indian Police Service) today.
- The government provides ₹13,000 per month to families of 44,000 Kashmiri Pandits who have relief cards. The government also provides free ration.
- The biggest hurdle in the industry in Jammu and Kashmir was that they did not get land if they wanted to set up any industry there. After the withdrawal of 370, we changed the law of the land. Now the situation is such that the industries will be established inside Kashmir.
- IIT Jammu has started teaching on its campus. The construction work of both AIIMS has started. The 8.45km Banihal tunnel is planned to be opened this year. By 2022, we are also going to connect the Kashmir Valley with the railways.