Amit Shah lays down NDA's Kashmir policy in RS

Union Home Minister Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday said that the NDA-2 government's approach towards Kashmir would be guided by the three principles of Jamooriyat (democracy), Insaniyat (humanity) and Kashmiriyat (the spirit of Kashmir) - terms coined by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to offer a healing touch to the conflict-affected population of Jammu and Kashmir.

“But in our case, Jamooriyat will not be limited to a few families or 87 members of the Assembly. It will go down to 40,000 sarpanches (village heads) who will be a part of the development process,” Shah said in the Rajya Sabha.

The minister was responding to a debate on a resolution to extend the President's Rule in Jammu and Kashmir by another six months from July 3, 2019 and amending the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 seeking to provide reservation to people living close to the international border in Jammu region.

With the Rajya Sabha's approval, the resolution and the bill get the Parliamentary nod as the Lok Sabha cleared both of them last week.

Jammu and Kashmir is under the President's rule since June 2018 when the ruling coalition between the BJP and the PDP collapsed.

Countering the opposition charges of misusing the President's Rule, Shah said, “We don't prefer ruling through remote control. With God's grace and Modiji's popularity, we have enough states to run, 16 in total. It was due to security concerns that (assembly) elections were not held.”

“Article 356 (President's Rule) was imposed by 132 times since the independence, out of which 93 times it was imposed by the Congress government that misused it for the first time in Kerala to oust an elected government (headed by the communist leader EMS Namboodiripad). It happened when Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister (in 1959),” he said.

“When you talk about Kashmiriyat, why you don't speak about the Sufi singers who were attacked and killed. Kashmiri Pandits were thrown out of Kashmir. The Modi government will protect the Kashmiri Pandits. A time will come when Pandits will offer puja at Bhawani temple and Sufi singers will sing,” Shah said.

Referring to some of the controversial decisions of Nehru like a declaration of ceasefire in June 1949 when one-third of Kashmir was still under Pakistan control and going to the UN, the BJP president said the nation should learn from such historical mistakes. He said separatists will be shown no softness.

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