Former Union Minister and Congress MP Manish Tewari addressing media persons in New Delhi on Friday. Photo/ANI
Former Union Minister and Congress MP Manish Tewari addressing media persons in New Delhi on Friday. Photo/ANI

A lot of things said by Amit Shah in Lok Sabha about J-K absolutely rebuttable: Congress

ANI | Updated: Jun 28, 2019 23:21 IST

New Delhi [India], June 28 (ANI): The Congress party on Friday slammed Union Home Minister Amit Shah over his claims regarding former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, stating that a lot of things he said in the Lok Sabha today about the handling of Jammu and Kashmir were "absolutely and easily rebuttable."
Launching a scathing attack on the Congress over the handling of Jammu and Kashmir by its successive governments, Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday said that then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru gave a portion of Kashmir to Pakistan without the consent of the then Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
"The tragedy is that unlike the Rajya Sabha, where you have a right of rebuttal, the Lok Sabha does not have the same tradition. Otherwise, a lot of things which were said by the Home Minister were absolutely and easily rebuttable. We extended him the courtesy of hearing him in silence because he had extended us the same courtesy and I think that is the way, the parliamentary debate should be held," Congress leader Manish Tewari told media persons here.
"However, what the Home Minister forgot to mention, was that this is the same BJP when it got into the Agenda of Governance with the PDP. The first article of that Agenda of Governance was that Article 370 would not be abolished," he said.
Tewari went on to add that the Home Minister referred to the partition of India and "if I heard him correctly he said that it was a great mistake. I was wondering that those people are questioning events which happened 70 years ago, who had absolutely no participation, no contribution much less a conviction in the independence of India."
"Their ideological mentors, in fact, took a conscious decision that they would not participate in the struggle for independence. We would like to challenge the BJP, we were just following the norms of the house today, but at any point of time, at any place of their choice if they want to debate the history of the past 70 years of India including what transpired in Jammu and Kashmir, we would be more than happy to engage them on every forum of their choice," he said.
"But this delving into the history and selective blame pointing, finger pointing is not going to take the Government anywhere, in terms of how to tackle and resolve the problem in Jammu and Kashmir," he added.
Tewari said that this was not the last debate in this Lok Sabha over Jammu and Kashmir.
"A lot of tall claims were made by both the Ministers, who participated and replied to the debate on Jammu and Kashmir today. I would just urge you to take cognizance of those words and phrases because I am afraid this will not be the last debate that this Lok Sabha is going to see on Jammu and Kashmir," he said.
The Congress leader also specified a few questions which were apparently not addressed by the Home Minister in the Lok Sabha earlier today.
Tewari said that it is "extremely unfortunate that rather than answering the very pertinent and germane questions, which were raised by the opposition, the government attempted to deflect, obfuscate and run away from the situation, which is prevailing in the state of Jammu and Kashmir."
"The most fundamental question, which the Home Minister chose not to answer, was that if things were normal in Jammu and Kashmir, as the Government claims in terms of the long laundry list of initiatives, which were listed out in the Home Minister's reply, then why has the Government come asking for an extension of the President's Rule in Jammu and Kashmir," he asked.
"If the Election Commission of India could hold elections to Parliament in Jammu and Kashmir just a month back, what is the diffidence, what is the hesitation, what is the reluctance, what is the intent behind not holding immediate elections to the Jammu and Kashmir assembly, is the first question, which the Home Minister did not and was unable to address," Tewari said.
"The second question is - the Home Minister failed to take responsibility and the responsibility lies squarely at his door or the door of the NDA government that if the situation has come to such a pass in Jammu and Kashmir, it was the policies of the Central government and their (BJP) alliance with the PDP which was responsible for bringing things to such a pass," Tewari said.
The Congress leader said that "in 2014, over 64 per cent people participated in the Vidhan Sabha elections in Jammu and Kashmir. If the percentage came down to five per cent in 2017, when one parliamentary by-poll was held and the other could not be held and the situation persisted itself through the last Parliament elections, then who should bear the responsibility for that?"
He went on to add that the "third thing which came out of the Home Minister's reply and which needs to be flagged is that if you look at the history of counter insurgencies all over the world, hard power works to a point and then soft power has to take over and that is why many complex issues in various parts of the country including the north-east were resolved by a combination of hard power and soft power, which successive Governments used."
"There was no indication in the Home Minister's speech whether that equilibrium, which is essential to maintain in fragile or a sensitive situation, was anywhere within the contemplation of the NDA-BJP government. Of course, what did the Home Minister do, he took refuge in history."
"The BJP has a certain narrative about Jammu and Kashmir. It is not something which is new or something that we have not heard before, but, what is extremely unfortunate is this continuous embellishment and the selective use of untruths in order to try and build a new history of what happened in the past 70 years in Jammu and Kashmir," Tewari said.
"The Home Minister referred to the fact that there was a ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir, but what the Home Minister forgot to mention was the invasion by Pakistani irregulars, supported by regular troops, which occurred on the night of 22-23 October 1947. The ceasefire happened on January 1, 1949. There was a protracted battle, which was fought between October 1947 and January 1949 in order to reclaim the state of Jammu and Kashmir," he said. (ANI)

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