The Union Minister was addressing a huge gathering of BJP booth-level workers at Khajuraho in the lesser-developed Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh.
Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday said but for decisions of late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Parliament would not have been discussing the Kashmir issue today, and there would have been no problem.
He was reacting to CPI (M) member John Brittas in the Rajya Sabha during a discussion on the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023.
The two Bills were passed by the Lok Sabha on 6th December. The Home Minister said the Army is not deployed anywhere in civilian areas.
Responding to Mr Digvijaya Singh (Congress), the Home Minister also clarified that former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti is not under house arrest and is free to go anywhere.
He said the Lt Governor of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir had already clarified the position.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in 1959 Nehru had dismissed the E M S Namboodiripad Government in Kerala and the CPI (M) member, Mr Brittas, was speaking in favour of Nehru; “it defeats federalism, Centre-state relations.”
Mr Brittas said it was four years the State was converted into a Union Territory, and the Treasury Benches claim to be upholder of federalism.
Initiating the discussion on the two Kashmir Bills, Mr Vivek Tankha (Congress) said what the Supreme Court said on Article 370 on Monday “is in consonance with what we always thought.”
“In our opinion, and then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had also spoken in Parliament on Article 370 in 1963, it (Article 370) is a transitory provision, it is a temporary provision, it will stay as long as the Constitution mandates” Mr Tankha said.
He said the Supreme Court had said that Jammu and Kashmir should get statehood back at the earliest. Mr Tankha said the Government had reduced Jammu and Kashmir status by making it a Union Territory and Jammu and Kashmir elections should be ensured before 2024. “I see it as a victory of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Prominent Kashmir Pandit leaders had talked to Patel and Nehru and Gen. K. S. Thimayya had then talked to the Kashmiri Pandit leaders who wanted Army to be sent to Muzaffarabad in Kashmir. But Nehru and Patel told them “we could not expand our theatre for the Indian army. There is a limitation to our military action,” Mr Tankha said.
The Congress member said “I want to tell that the Army did not proceed despite Kashmiri Pandit leaders’ request; it was a collective Cabinet decision in which national stalwarts, besides Nehru, Sardar Patel, B R Ambedkar, Shyma Prasad Mukherjee had participated. It must have been a compulsion, but it would be unfair to blame an individual for that.
When Nehru died, late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee spoke in Parliament that it was like setting of the Sun and the nation was to look for its way ahead in the light of stars.
Mr Vajpayee had said doubts are being expressed about the future of the Indian democracy that he established, and made it work. “We have to make this democracy successful work with our unity and discipline and confidence. The leader has gone, his follower left behind. Sun has set, we have to find our way in the light of stars,” Mr Vajpayee had said.
“This is the kind of person Nehru was,” Mr Tankha said. He said: “We must learn to respect our past. We must learn to respect our leaders. Mistakes can be made collectively or individually; to blame somebody after so much time hurts all of us.”