Justifying Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre's decision to scrap Articles 370 and 35A, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said that these articles were a big hurdle in integrating the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir with the entire country.
Addressing a rally in Mumbai, Shah lashed out at the Congress for opposing the decision to abrogate Article 370 and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories - J&K and Ladakh. “Rahul Gandhi says Article 370 is a political issue. I would like to tell him that you have recently come to politics but three generations of the Jan Sangh and the BJP have laid down their life for Kashmir... Kashmir has been a political issue for the Congress but for us, it is a matter of patriotism,” he said.
“People would say Kashmir is an integral part of India but nobody said Maharashtra or Karnataka are an integral part of India. People would say this because they had to prove it. Today, I can proudly say that Kashmir is an integral part of India,” Shah added.
The Union home minister also slammed the previous state governments of Jammu and Kashmir and launched an indirect attack on families of former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Farooq Abdullah for leading corrupt governments in the state. "Rule of three families never wanted to have an anti-corruption unit and now the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) is functional there today. Elections are coming in Kashmir soon and the contest is once again between Congress that sees politics in Jammu and Kashmir and us (BJP) who sees patriotism," said Shah.
Shah also slammed former prime minister Jawahar Lal Nehru and said, "The issue of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) wouldn't have been there had the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru not announced an untimely ceasefire in 1947, when the Army was strongly fighting against Pakistani infiltrators in J&K."
The BJP president expressed confidence that his party would perform very well in Maharashtra and NDA government will be formed in the state with an absolute majority.