UNION HOME Minister Amit Shah said Sunday that he had “no confusion” in his mind about the removal of special status under Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, which was of “no benefit to the country…or for Kashmir”.
Reiterating his argument in Parliament that the government’s decision will put an end to terrorism in the state and lead to development, Shah said: “As a legislator, there was no confusion in my mind about the decision… I firmly believe there was no benefit to the country from it, or for Kashmir. It should have been removed much before. As Home Minister, I had no confusion on what will happen after Article 370.”
Shah was speaking at an event to mark the release of the book “Listening, Learning & Leading…” on Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu’s two-year term in office.
Speaking at the event, Naidu said the abrogation of Article 370 was in “national interest”. “It was the need of the hour, people of the country should stand with Jammu and Kashmir… We should all think in terms of national interest rather than party interest. This should not be treated as a political issue but as a national issue as Kashmir is an integral part of India,” he said. “Whatever problems are faced by the people of Kashmir, we have to stand by them and assuage their feelings and see to it that steps are taken to restore normalcy,” Naidu said.
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, who participated in the event, claimed that Kashmir has been peaceful after the government’s decision. “Not even a single teargas shell has been fired,” he said.
Shah, meanwhile, praised the Vice-President’s handling of the Rajya Sabha as its Chairman on the day the Jammu and Kashmir decision was taken up in the Upper House. Shah said his apprehension was whether it would lead to ugly scenes similar to those during the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. “We do not have such a majority there (Rajya Sabha)… Still I decided that I will take it to the Rajya Sabha first and then Lok Sabha… It was the appropriate handling of affairs of the House by him (Naidu)… I want to acknowledge his efficiency in handling the affairs of the House,” Shah said.
Meanwhile, Tamil movie superstar Rajinikanth, who spoke at the event, praised Shah for his role as Home Minister on Article 370.
“My heartfelt congratulations for his Mission Kashmir operations. The way you conducted it, hats off. The speech you delivered in Parliament was fantastic. Now people have come to know who is Amit Shah. I am happy about that,” Rajinikanth said. “So Amit Shah ji and Modi ji are like the Krishna-Arjuna combination. We don’t know who is Krishna, who is Arjuna, they only know,” he said.
Rajinikanth had announced his plan to enter politics early last year but has since delayed action on the ground. On Saturday, DMK and other Opposition parties in the state had demanded that the Centre take a delegation of their leaders to Jammu and Kashmir to “assess the real situation” there.