J&K will get statehood at appropriate time: Shah

New Delhi, Feb 13 (PTI):
Home Minister Amit Shah asserted in Lok Sabha on Saturday that the government has done more for Jammu and Kashmir since Article 370 was scrapped in August 2019 than those who ruled it for generations, even as he assured that the Centre will grant full statehood to the union territory at an appropriate time.
Replying to a discussion on the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, he also slammed some Opposition members for their claim that the proposed law negates the hopes of the region getting back its erstwhile statehood.
The bill to merge the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) cadre of all-India services officers with the Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre was later passed by Lok Sabha by a voice vote.
The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2021 has already been passed by Rajya Sabha. It replaces an ordinance issued last month.
This legislation has nothing to do with statehood, and Jammu and Kashmir will be accorded the status at an appropriate time, Shah said.
He took a swipe at the Congress and other parties — which had backed Article 370 of the Constitution that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir — saying this was a temporary provision but they continued with it for over 70 years before the Modi government annulled it.
Jammu and Kashmir has been a top priority for the current government since it took power in 2014, he said.
Responding to Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Shah said opposition parties were free to visit the region.
Chowdhury had claimed that foreign delegations were being taken to the region, no all-party delegation was sent.
The home minister also gave the assurance to the people of Jammu and Kashmir that “no one will lose their land”. The government has sufficient land for development works, Shah said.

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