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Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday replied to the discussion on the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill of 2021 in Lok Sabha.

"Many MPs said that bringing the bill means that the union territory would not get statehood. I am piloting the Bill, I brought it. I have clarified the intentions," said Shah.

Earlier on Monday, Rajya Sabha Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad reiterated the Congress party's demand to restore statehood status to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

In August 2019, the Union Government abrogated Article 370 which gave special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcated the region into two Union Territories- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Here are the highlights from Shah's speech in Lok Sabha

J-K to get statehood at an appropriate time: The home minister iterated that the union territory would be given statehood.

"Nowhere is it written that Jammu and Kashmir would not get the statehood. Where are you drawing the conclusion from? I have said in this House and I say it again that this Bill has got nothing to do with the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir. Statehood would be given to the UT at an appropriate time," he said.

Attack on opposition: On Adhir Ranjan's remarks in Lok Sabha that there was still no normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir, Home Minister Amit Shah asked what has Congress done for J-K.

"We were asked what did we do about promises made during abrogation of Article 370. It has been 17 months since the abrogation and you are demanding an account for it. Did you bring the account of what you did for 70 years? Had you worked properly, you need not have asked us," he said.

"I have no objection, I will give an account for everything. But those who were given the opportunity to govern for generations should look within if they are even fit to demand an account," he added.

On situation in Kashmir: After questions were raised regarding the delay in restarting 4G connection in the UT, Shah said: "There are people who say we have taken the decision on 4G after pressure from outside. This is a BJP government. We are not under pressure. 2G connection was there because of security reasons. If there is no peace and tranquillity, there is no point."

Amit Shah also went on to say that people who demand statehood, "Why didn't they remove Article 370 for 70 years?"

'Days of unrest': Speaking about the “unrest" in J-K, Shah said: “Recall Congress days, thousands were killed and curfews were imposed for days. Peace in Kashmir is a big thing," adding that "such situations won’t be repeated under the BJP rule."

On Panchayat elections: Speaking about recent DDC polls, the home minister said: "Nobody, not even our rivals can say that there was fraud or unrest during the election (DDC). Everyone voted fearlessly and peacefully. 51% votes were cast in the Panchayat elections. Jinhone Dhara 370 waapis laane ke aadhar par chunav lada tha wo saaf ho gaye saaf (Those who had fought the elections based on the issue of bringing back Article 370 have lost.)

What is J-K reorganisation bill?

The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2021was introduced by the Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy in Rajya Sabha on February 4 to replace Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021. The bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Monday.

The new bill is aimed to merge the Jammu and Kashmir cadre Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), and Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officers with that of the Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram, and Union Territory (AGMUT).


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