Shah touches Art 370, 35A; skips mention of bifurcation

Home Minister Amit Shah. (PTI photo)

On a day Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said Article 370 and Article 35A were the "gateway of terrorism" into Jammu and Kashmir but Prime Minister Narendra Modi closed this entry point by fulfilling Sardar Vallabhai Patel's "unfulfilled dream" of fully integrating the state with India.

Flagging off a run to commemorate the 144th birth anniversary of Patel here, Shah, however, did not specifically mention about bifurcation of the state into two union territories, which came into existence on Thursday.

He said the scrapping of special status to Jammu and Kashmir as well as Article 35A that dealt with property rights became a "problem" in the integration process, which was avoided by others. No one touched these aspects in the past 70 years, he said.

"Article 370 and 35A were the gateway of terrorism in India. Prime Minister Modi has closed this gate by repealing them...Article 370 and 35A became a problem in this integration process and no one touched on these subjects. The unfulfilled dream of Patel was fulfilled on August 5 when these were repealed and the full integration of Jammu and Kashmir with the Union of India was completed forever," he said.

Remembering Patel's contribution, he said everyone felt that India would be disintegrated as there were more than 550 princely states.

"Mahatma Gandhi entrusted Patel with the task of integrating the princely states into the Union of India which he completed with distinction. One thing remained to be completed and that was the complete integration of Jammu and Kashmir into the Union of India...Prime Minister Modi completed that task," he said.

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