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Statehood to J&K at an appropriate time: Shah

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 13, 2021

Home Minister Amit Shah   -  --

Jammu and Kashmir’s Union Territory status is temporary and the region will get statehood at an appropriate time, said Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday.

Replying to a debate on the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, he said the Bill mentions nowhere that statehood will be denied to Jammu and Kashmir.

He said the government’s intentions to bring the are clear and denied the charges that the Bill will deny statehood to the region. “I don’t know from where you are drawing this conclusion,” Shah said. He added that even Article 370 was a temporary provision, but it remained for 70 years.

 

He claimed that several development initiatives have been taken by the Centre since abrogation of Article 370 and people have accepted it. “Jammu and Kashmir has been a top priority for the current government since it took power in 2014,” he claimed.

He said decentralisation and devolution of power have taken place in the region since the abrogation of Article 370. To buttress his point that people have accepted the Centre’s position, he said 51 per cent people voted in the recently held Panchayat polls.

He said even critics of the government could not find any problems with the way the elections were held. “Panchayats have been given administrative and financial powers for local development, something they lacked earlier. Now people chosen by the masses will rule Jammu and Kashmir, not those born to ‘kings and queens’,” he said. “Work on two AIIMS in the region has begun, and the Kashmir Valley will be connected to the railways by 2022,” he said.

The House later passed the Bill on a voice vote. The Rajya Sabha had passed the Bill earlier. It seeks to merge the civil servants of Jammu and Kashmir cadre with all-India services officers with the Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territory cadre.

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Published on February 13, 2021
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