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Nehru gave portion of Kashmir to Pak, says Amit Shah

NEW DELHI: Launching a scathing attack on Congress on the handling of Jammu and Kashmir by its successive governments, Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday claimed that the then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru gave a portion of Kashmir to Pakistan without the consent of the then Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

"Who called for ceasefire back then? It was Jawaharlal Nehru who did it and gave that portion (PoK) to Pakistan. You say we don't take people into confidence, but Nehru ji did it without taking the then Home Minister into confidence. So Manish (Tewari) ji don't teach us history," he said replying to the debate in the Lok Sabha on the statutory resolution for extension of President's rule in the state. "They (Opposition) are saying we are trampling democracy in Jammu and Kashmir. Before this time, till now 132 times, Article 356 has been imposed (President's rule), out of which 93 times Congress has done it. Now these people will teach us democracy?", he said in a sharp attack on Congress after Tewari had criticised the government on extension of central rule.

The Home Minister utilised the occasion of discussion on the statutory resolution and the Bill providing for reservation in jobs and educational jobs for residents along the International Border (IB) on the lines of those living along the Line of Control (LoC) to rake up history and attack the Congress for the ills of Jammu and Kashmir. Commenting on the former leaders who ruled in Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Home Minister said, "In 1931 Muslim Conference was established led by Sheikh Abdullah. For long Congress did not start its unit there and supported Muslim Conference. Congress put all its eggs in Abdullah's basket but Abdullah ran away with the basket. As a result Sheikh Abdullah became the Prime Minister there (Jammu and Kashmir)."

"In 1953 when Shyama Prasad Mukherjee ji (Jan Sangh founder) entered Kashmir protesting against two Prime Ministers in a country he was thrown into jail. His death was also not probed. Why? Was he not a senior opposition leader? A leader from Bengal, a former Union Minister." Referring to former BJP President Murli Manohar Joshi and Narendra Modi unfurling the triclour in the Lal Chowk in Kashmir during the early nineties, Shah said, "There was a time when there was no sign of India in Kashmir. State Bank of India signboard was seen with a cloth covering the word 'India'. Murli Manohar Joshi and Narendra Modi risked their lives and unfurled triclour at Lal Chowk. We were not in power then."

Attacking the Congress over 'tukde tukde gang', Shah said, "Some say there is an atmosphere of fear there. Those who are against India should have fear in their hearts. We are not part of tukde, tukde gang. We are not against common people of Jammu and Kashmir. We have started the process of providing them jobs and all government schemes." He also questioned the Opposition as to why no action was taken against Jamaat-e-Islami in the state. "Why was not Jamaat-e-Islami banned till date? Who did you want to please? It was the BJP government that banned Jamaat-e-Islami. Who put the ban on JKLF? It was BJP who did it," he said. Shah said that restoring an elected government in Jammu and Kashmir was government's top priority and Assembly elections could be held by the end of the year.