Mumbai, September 22: The Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) would not have come into existence had Jawaharlal Nehru not declared untimely ceasefire with the neighbouring country, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Sunday.
Targeting Nehru over “non-integration” of Kashmir with India, he said Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the country’s first home minister, should have handled the issue, instead of the then prime minister.
Addressing a rally here on the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and to campaign for the BJP for the next month’s Maharashtra Assembly polls, he said, “I want to tell all BJP workers that our work doesn’t end at the removal of Article 370, our work starts now.”
“It is our target to take this country forward on the chapter of nationalism and progress,” he said.
Hitting out at the Congress and NCP, he said, they were “shamelessly” opposing the abrogation of Article 370.
Expressed confidence that Devendra Fadnavis will again be the chief minister after the Maharashtra polls on October 21, he said, “I am happy that the campaign for the state polls is beginning with the discussion on our decision to remove Articles 370 and 35(A).”
The Congress sees politics behind Article 370 abrogation, “we don’t see it that way”, he said.
“The PoK wouldn’t have come into existence had Nehru not declared untimely ceasefire with Pakistan, a mistake of Nehru…Sardar Patel should have handled Kashmir, instead of Nehru handling it,” he opined.
Nehru then went to the United Nations under Article 35 of the UN Charter. “Had he gone through charter 51, still PoK would have been with India,” he added.
“After Sardar Patel’s death in 1950, the Indian government signed the Delhi agreement with Sheikh Abdullah which became the foundation of Article 370,” he said.
Those who came from Pakistan to India, two of them – Manmohan Singh and I K Gujral – (later) became prime ministers, while L K Advani became deputy prime minister.
“But those who went to J&K never had voting rights till Article 370 was removed. Today, these people can vote,” he said.
Shah said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi he has been demanding proofs of the government’s works, including surgical strike and air strike (by IAF after Pulwama attack), but stands with the ‘tukade tukade gang’ of the JNU.
“When Gandhi and (NCP chief) Sharad Pawar will be here for campaign, you should ask them whether they support or oppose removal of Article 370,” Shah said to people at his rally held in suburban Goregaon.
“Not a single bullet has been fired in Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370,” he said, adding that there is no unrest in Kashmir and in the coming days, “terrorism will be finished”.
Without taking any names, he said three dynasties which ruled Kashmir didn’t allow the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) to be set up there.
“Those who indulged in corruption in Kashmir now are feeling the heat despite the cold there,” he said in remarks laced with sarcasm.
“Only (political) dynasties in Jammu and Kashmir are feeling threatened. Several communication lines are working, telephones are operational and some markets have also opened.
You will soon get Kashmir’s famous apples here,” he said.
Shah said nobody ever thought of abrogating Article 370 and 35(A) so swiftly, but the Modi government did it. (PTI)