Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday blamed India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru for the ongoing Kashmir crisis and held him responsible for the introduction of Article 370 and 35A. Addressing an election rally in Mumbai, Shah said that this was because Nehru kept the Kashmir portfolio to himself and not allocated it to the then Home Minister Sardar Patel.
He said, “Sardar Patel worked hard to unite India and when Hyderabad and Junagarh (princely states) opposed, he used police force to achieve the objective. But Kashmir was not in his hand. The Kashmir issue was kept within his own office by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Sardar had 630 states under his responsibility and all of them integrated with India.. The only state that Jawaharlal Nehru handled failed to integrate.”
He said that the Indian troops chased away the Pakistani army, which had attacked Kashmir in the guise of local tribes soon after the independence but Nehru announced the ceasefire midway. “The Indian troops kept chasing the Pakistani forces but one day Jawaharlal Nehru announced a ceasefire.”
Shah said that ‘Pak occupied Kashmir would not be in existence’ had Nehru not announced the ceasefire. “We have the issue of Pak occupied Kashmir today because of that ceasefire.,” he said.
Amit Shah also said that there was no truth in Congress MP Rahul Gandhi’s claims that the BJP was using Article 370 for political gains. “The Congress sees politics behind Article 370 abrogation, we don’t see it that way… for us, it is a matter of nationalism,” he said.
Shah said that Hindu brothers could now live in Kashmir with dignity after the abrogation of Article 370.
Kashmir has been under a complete lockdown since 5 August when the Indian government abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories. Mobile phone and internet services have remained suspended with residents facing severe restrictions due to a curfew-like situation across the valley.
Not too long ago, Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai had said that she was deeply concerned about reports of brutalities against women by the Indian forces in the valley.