: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday held first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru accountable for what he termed “two major blunders” of declaring a ceasefire sans winning the entire Kashmir and taking the issue to the United Nations, for which people of Jammu and Kashmir are still suffering.

The senior Minister also said that it was because of Nehru that India ceded a portion of Kashmir to Pakistan. Amit Shah’s deluge of charges, which have often been levelled against the Congress leader by the BJP in the past, was part of a reply to a debate in the Lok Sabha on the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill.

Chowdhury Intervenes

Congress’ leader in the House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, however, intervened into Shah’s speech to hit back that BJP leaders unwantedly take on Nehru every time the Kashmir matter is raised. Chowdhury stated that Congress is tired of hearing this sort of criticism and demanded a daylong debate on Kashmir and Nehru to rest the issue once for all.

Shah, however, continued with his verbal tirade and stated, “I support the word that was used here -- Nehruvian blunder. Because of the blunder that was committed during the time of Nehru, Kashmir had to suffer. With responsibility, I want to say that the two big blunders that happened during the tenure of Jawaharlal Nehru, happened due to his decisions, because of which Kashmir had to suffer for years”.

“Kashmir had to suffer due to Nehruvian blunders. One was that when our Army was winning and as soon as Punjab area was reached, ceasefire was declared and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir was born. If the ceasefire would have been (declared) three days later, PoK would have been part of India,” the home minister observed.

Shah’s remarks caused an approar in the opposition benches leading to exodus of their members from the House but retured later. Despite the ruckus, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla was of the view that the Home Minister’s remarks were not an insult to anyone and made only to put things in context. Earlier on Tuesday, opposition members had sought a timeline from the government on the assembly elections due in J&K.

delimitation exercise

On the two bills on Jammu and Kashmir, Shah told MPs that it seeks to nominate two Kashmiri migrants, including a woman, to the assembly. While one seat in the assembly will be reserved for people displaced from PoK, the minister apprised.

The delimitation exercise in J&K will increase assembly seats in Jammu region to 43 from existing 37, and in Kashmir Valley it will be 47 from 46. Besides these, 24 seats will be kept for the residents of PoK, he said.