Article 370 temporary; Shah slams Nehru, Abdullah

'As many as 630 Princely States acceded to India. None have Article 370. Nehru negotiated with one State and it has Article 370,' the home minister said

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Amit Shah on Article 370

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday gave a clear indication that this BJP-led NDA government was in no mood to continue with Article 370, the provision in the Constitution that, along with Article 35A, gives Jammu and Kashmir privileges that no other State of India enjoys.

“As far as the question of 370 is concerned, you must know that it is mentioned as temporary in the Constitution and not permanent. And this was done in agreement with Sheikh Abdullah,” Shah said in the course of a debate that had started with the opposition questioning how long Article 356 (President’s Rule) would remain imposed on Jammu and Kashmir.

Taking the RSS line of comparison between India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Shah said, “As many as 630 Princely States acceded to India. None have Article 370. Nehru negotiated with one State and it has Article 370.”

Home Minister Amit Shah asserted in the Lok Sabha that the Modi government had ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards terrorism and its ideology is to ensure the protection of borders and make the country free of terrorism.

Replying to a statutory resolution seeking Lok Sabha’s not to extend President’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir, Amit Shah said the government has spent Rs 2,307 crore to upgrade security apparatus in the state.

Hitting out at the Congress and then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, he said one-third of Jammu and Kashmir is not with India. “Who is responsible,” he asked, drawing a sharp reaction from Congress members.

The House witnessed disruptions over Shah naming Nehru.

Continuing his attack on the opposition party, he said so far Article 356 (President’s Rule) was imposed 132 times of which the Congress used it 93 times to dismiss state governments.

He also said the government withdrew the security of 919 people in the state as there was no security threat.

Shah said people speak against India in Jammu and Kashmir to get security cover. In fact, he said, people who speak for India face the real threat.

Amit Shah yesterday had visited the family of Jammu and Kashmir Police inspector Arshad Ahmed Khan, who was killed in a terror attack in Anantnag on 12 June. Home minister Amit Shah was on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir.

Khan, 37, was injured in the terror attack and later flown to Delhi in an air ambulance for specialised treatment. However, he succumbed to injuries at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). Khan is survived by a wife and two sons, aged four and one.

Five CRPF personnel were killed in the terror attack, in which alone Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists targeted a patrol team of the paramilitary force.

Khan, the SHO of Saddar Police station in Anantnag, had reached the site soon after.

The Friday debate on Jammu and Kashmir gave two indications. One, that the Union government is contemplating the abrogation of Article 370 (maybe the more contentious Article 35A as well, which does not permit other Indians to buy property in this State). Two, until the BJP-led NDA government ensures this, they will not lift President’s Rule from the State.