J&K Bills passed in Rajya Sabha; ‘Govt committed to statehood, polls’

Initiating the discussion on the two Kashmir Bills, Vivek Tankha (Congress) said what the Supreme Court said on Article 370 on Monday “is in consonance with what we always thought.”

J&K Bills passed in Rajya Sabha; ‘Govt committed to statehood, polls’

New Delhi, Dec 11 (ANI): J&K Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and J&K Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 passed in the Rajya Sabha during the Winter Session, in New Delhi on Monday. (ANI Photo)

Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday reiterated in the Rajya Sabha that the Government was committed to hold elections in Jammu and Kashmir and to restore its statehood.

He was replying to a discussion on the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023.

The Bills were passed by the Upper House after the debate. The Lok Sabha had passed them on 6th December.


The Opposition staged a walk-out while the Home Minister was still replying to the debate. The Home Minister said then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s mistakes in Jammu and Kashmir were evident.

Mr Shah said the Supreme Court had upheld the Government’s decisions on Article 370, and it was confirmed that the Article was temporary, which was known from the time the Constitution was written.

Mr Shah said 42,000 people were killed in Jammu and Kashmir because of the Article. Article 370 generated feelings of separatism and this encouraged terrorism.

The Home Minister said the Government was committed to render justice to Kashmiri Pandits. The Bill has provided reservation for them in the legislative Assembly. Seats have been increased for Jammu and Kashmir. There are 24 seats kept for Pak-occupied Kashmir.

Gujjar-Bakarwals were getting justice after 75 years, the Home Minister said. “Three families” were behind denial of justice to them, he said. They can also fight in open seats.

“It is said the Government’s viewpoint on Nehru’s conduct was narrow. Our view will be narrow as long as an inch of the country’s land is concerned. The BJP was committed and would fight for Indian land,” he said.

Mr Shah said Nehru did not take care of Hyderabad, Junagarh issues, he was taking care of Jammu and Kashmir only, and its merger was delayed. It was delayed because one person was to be given a special post, he said. If there was no untimely declaration of ceasefire, the Pak-occupied Kashmir would have been part of India.

The Army was advancing and a ceasefire was declared, he said. Mr Shah said Nehru had himself admitted his mistake on Kashmir. Taking the issue to the UN was also a mistake. “We will never disown the decisions we have taken on Jammu and Kashmir,” he said. Mr Shah said the Government is sensitive to the welfare of people there.

Today, the youth of Jammu and Kashmir have laptops in their hands instead of stones, this is the change there, Mr Shah said. When Article 370 has gone, feelings of separatism and terrorism would go, and it has happened.

The Government is eliminating the ecosystem of terrorism and its finance network, he said. No jobs for families whose members are involved in stone-pelting, he said. People with terrorism links would not be kept in service. A separate jail is being created for terrorists. Steps have been taken for employment, he said. The Government will go to any length to finish off terrorism, he said.

Article 370 and Article 35 were an insult to the whole country, he said. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee had laid down his life against two constitutions, two governments in one country. Central laws are now applicable in Jammu and Kashmir.

This year on the Republic Day, the tricolour was unfurled freely in Lal Chowk in Srinagar. The number of tourists had crossed two crore; home-stay was popular with tourists, the Home Minister said. Health standards had improved in the Valley. There is big investment in hydro-power. Ayushman scheme is available to every section of the society, not just poor.

Reacting to John Brittas (CPI-M), he 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.

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.”

Initiating the discussion on the two Kashmir Bills, Vivek Tankha (Congress) said what the Supreme Court said on Article 370 on Monday “is in consonance with what we always thought.”