Amit Shah says Reservation Bill will give back 'rights' to people deprived for 70 yrs
Bill empowers Kashmiri Pandit migrant community members in Assembly
'Kashmir suffered for years due to Jawaharlal Nehru's two major blunders'
‘Art 370 removal ends separatism, reduces terrorism in Kashmir’ First time in history of Delimitation Commission, 9 seats reserved for STs, SCs
Jammu’s seat increased from 37 to 43 Kashmir’s seat from 46 to 47 in J&K electoral
24 seats reserved for PoK region & 1 seat in J&K assembly
'Modi will return to power after the 2024 general elections'
NEW DELHI, DEC 06: In a landmark parliamentary session, the Lok Sabha passed two crucial bills, the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Amendment) Bill, 2023. The bills, addressing injustices and providing representation for displaced Kashmiris, received unanimous support after an exhaustive discussion by Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation, Amit Shah.
The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill seeks to nominate two members from the Kashmiri migrant community and one representing the displaced persons from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) to the legislative Assembly.
During the session, Amit Shah highlighted key points related to the bills and their implications. He emphasised that the legislation is a crucial step toward providing rights and justice to those who have been neglected and mistreated for seven decades. The Home Minister credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership for bringing about progressive changes, stating that these bills would add another positive chapter to the government's initiatives. Shah said Prime Minister Narendra Modi will return to power after the 2024 general elections and hoped that by 2026, terrorism will be completely eliminated from Jammu and Kashmir.
Amit Shah underscored the impact of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, tracing its roots to the 1980s. He lamented the displacement of people who had lived in the region for generations, holding those in power responsible for failing to address the issue earlier. The Home Minister stressed the need for precise measures and criticised the previous approach of using vote bank politics instead of effectively combating terrorism.
Shah said 45,000 people have lost their lives due to terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir so far. He also gave statistics on the reduction of terror related incidents in Jammu and Kashmir and said in 2023, there has not been a single stone pelting incident, nor there was a call for 'hartal'.
"Every month, the home ministry reviews the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and in every three months, I visit Jammu and Kashmir and review the situation there," he said.
The home minister said people who used to say what happened in Jammu and Kashmir are cut off from the ground situation and obviously they would not know what changes have happened in Jammu and Kashmir.
"Those holidaying in England will not notice any change in Jammu and Kashmir," he said.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday blamed India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru's "two major blunders"declaring a ceasefire without winning the entire Kashmir and taking the issue to the United Nations for the sufferings of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Replying to a debate in the Lok Sabha on the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, Shah said if Nehru had taken the right steps, a large chunk of territory would not have been ceded and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir would have been part of India.
"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," Shah said.
"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 said. Home Minister said that across the country, the government bears the entire cost of treatment up to Rs 5 lakh for poor people specifically, but in Jammu and Kashmir, the government bears the treatment cost of all the people up to Rs 5 lakh. He said that the government has handled Jammu and Kashmir with full sensitivity. Before the present government came to power, the last available figure of tourists was around 14 lakhs, whereas in the year 2022-23, 2 crore tourists reached Jammu and Kashmir and, this year by June 2023 the figure of one crore has already been touched. He expressed confidence that the record of arrival of 2 crore tourists under the government led by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be broken by this December. Shah said that Jammu and Kashmir has become a destination whose environment and nature has a global and modern outlook. Home stay policy has been framed in the state, film policy has been framed, work has also been done to frame a policy for house boats, Jammu Ropeway Project has been completed with a cost of Rs 75 crore and industrial policy has also been framed.
Shah provided historical context, mentioning the displacement of families from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in 1947 and subsequent wars in 1965 and 1971. He emphasised that the bills, passed on August 5-6, 2019, paved the way for judicial delimitation, ensuring fair representation for the displaced population in the political landscape.
Amit Shah responded to concerns raised by the opposition, asserting that the bills aim to give rights and representation to the displaced people of Kashmir. He defended the reservation for Kashmiri Pandits, stating that it would ensure their voice in the Kashmir Assembly and help prevent future displacements. The Home Minister also detailed various initiatives and assistance programs for displaced families.
Addressing the legal and constitutional concerns raised by the opposition, Amit Shah emphasised the participatory approach taken by the Backward Classes Commission in reforming the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act. He questioned the opposition's historical stance on the issue and defended the decision to grant constitutional status to the commission.
Home Minister said that in 2014 Prime Minister Narendra Modi started 63 projects at a cost of Rs 80,000 crore for the development of Jammu and Kashmir including projects related to electricity, infrastructure, irrigation, education and medical facilities. Of these, 9 projects costing about Rs 21,000 crore were in Ladakh. 32 projects of Jammu and Kashmir, worth Rs 58,477 crore have almost been completed and out of Rs 58,000, the expenditure of Rs 45,800 crore has been utilised. He said that investments have been made in hydro projects in the last 10 years like 642 MW Kiru Hydro Project worth Rs 4,987 crore with a target of 5000 MW, 540 MW Kwar Hydro Project at a cost of Rs 5000 crore, 850 MW Ratle Highway Project at a cost of Rs 5,200 crore, 1000 MW Sopak Dal Hydro Project at a cost of Rs 8,112 crore, 1856 MW Sawalkot Hydro Project at a cost of Rs 2300 crore and Shahpur Khandi Dam Irrigation and Power Project at a cost Rs 2793 crore. For the first time, a project has been started there to obtain 1600 MW solar energy, 38 group stations have been constructed, 467 kilometers of new transmission lines have been laid, 266 Up stations have been built and work of securing the 11000 circuit kilometers of ST and IT lines have been done by the government led by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
Amit Shah concluded his address by urging the House to cooperate in passing the bills, emphasising their significance in addressing historical injustices and empowering the backward classes in Jammu and Kashmir.