Chennai, August 11: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday asserted that removal of special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution will put an end to terrorism and lead to progress of the region.
Speaking at the launch of a book on Vice President M Venkiah Naidu’s two years in office here, Shah said he firmly believed Art 370 that gave the special status to Jammu and Kashmir should be removed as it was not beneficial to the country.
“I was firm that Article 370 should be removed…. after (scrapping) Article 370, terrorism in Kashmir will end and it will progress on the path of development,” he said adding there was not an iota of confusion in his mind on what will happen post the path-breaking move.
He said the BJP-led government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi “has made this country free from Article 370”.
Shah credited Naidu, who is also the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, for the deft handling of the situation when he moved the bills related to Jammu and Kashmir in the Upper House, saying he had some ‘apprehensions’ of a repeat of scenes witnessed during the division of Andhra Pradesh.
The BJP president, who is a Lok Sabha member, said as a legislator there was no confusion in his mind whether Article 370 should be scrapped or not.
“I firmly believe there was no benefit to the country from it, or for Kashmir. It should have been removed earlier.
As a Home Minister, there was not an iota of confusion in my mind on what will happen after Article 370,” he said.
The Home Minister said though he firmly believed that terrorism will end and Kashmir will be on the path of development after the scrapping of Article 370, he had some “apprehensions” while piloting the Kashmir Reorganisation Bill in the Rajya Sabha.
“While piloting the bill there were apprehensions on how the Rajya Sabha will act when I take it there. Because we don’t have complete majority there… Still I had decided we will take the bill first to Rajya Sabha and after that to the Lok Sabha,” he said.
Referring to Indian Badminton coach P Gopichand’s remarks in the book release event recalling the unruly scenes in the Parliament during the issue of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh to create Telangana, Shah said those were still fresh in people’s memory.
“I had a small apprehension if I will also become a stakeholder of such ugly scenes,” he said.
However, giving credit to the deft handling of the affairs of the House that day (August 5) by Naidu, Shah recalled the bill went up to division from debate, but sans any unruly scenes “that would have made the people of the country think whether ethos of the House have been affected.”
“Even today I want to acknowledge his efficiency in handling the affairs of the House,” he said about Naidu.
He also recalled Naidu’s student day politics and him espousing the party’s ideology with regard to Kashmir, saying once a Communist professor had questioned the vice-president why he was struggling for the state which he had not seen.
“To this Naidu had replied that one eye cannot see the other, but can feel its pain,” Shah said.
In a bold move, the Centre has last week revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and announced it would be split it into two union territories – Ladakh, and Jammu and Kashmir, with the bills in this regard being passed by the Parliament.
President Ram Nath Kovind has also given his assent to them. (PTI)