Jammu and Kashmir will be given statehood “at an appropriate time”, Amit Shah told the Lok Sabha during a discussion on the J&K Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2021, on Saturday (February 13).
The home minister also criticised the Congress for allegedly failing to account for its actions in J&K over the past 70 years, and now seeking answers from the Narendra Modi government.
“I have said in this House and I say it again – this bill has got nothing to do with the statehood of Jammu & Kashmir. Statehood will be given… at an appropriate time,” he said.
Shah led the government’s charge in revoking special status for J&K and bifurcating it into two Union Territories.
“I am piloting the Bill, I brought it. I have clarified the intentions. Nowhere is it written that J&K won’t get statehood. Where are you drawing this conclusion from? Please stop spreading fake narratives. Have other Union Territories not attained statehood in the past? Haven’t other border states been given statehood? Then how is J&K any different?” he said.
“We were asked what we did about promises made during abrogation of Article 370. It has been 17 months since… and you are demanding an account? Did you bring the account of what you did for 70 years? Had you worked properly, you need not have asked us,” Shah said.
“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.”
The Centre revoked the special status given to J&K under Article 370 of the Constitution and split it into two UTs.
The move was followed by a strict security blanket, which included months-long suspension of mobile and internet services and the deployment of thousands of troops. It also included the detention of dozens of political leaders, including former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. They were charged under the Public Safety Act and only released late last year.