Union home minister Amit Shah on Thursday said that articles 370 and 35A were the gateway of terrorism in the country and Prime Minister Modi closed that gateway.
“Articles 370 and 35A were the gateways of terrorism in the country. Prime Minister Modi closed this gateway by abrogating Article 370 and 35A,” news agency ANI quoted Shah as saying at an event in New Delhi organised to mark the birth anniversary of India’s first deputy prime minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
The home minister’s remarks came a few hours after Jammu and Kashmir ceased to be a state and two new Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh came into existence at midnight on Wednesday.
Paying tribute to India’s first home minister, Shah said the united map of India that one sees today was only due to the efforts of Sardar Patel after Independence when the country was divided into over 550 princely states.
“Sardar Patel merged more than 550 princely states and ensured India’s integration but there was a regret in him about Jammu and Kashmir. J-K was merged with India but it became a problem for us because of Articles 370 and 35A,” the home minister said.
Shah added that for 70 years no one thought to do anything about these articles but in 2019, people gave the reins of the country to PM Modi and on August 5 Parliament revoked articles 370 and 35A and fulfilled the dream of Sardar (Vallabhbhai Patel).
The Modi government has been observing October 31 as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas or National Unity Day since 2014. Thousands of people, including school children and ex-servicemen along with a number of senior citizens took part in the marathon which will culminate at Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate.
The home ministry, in a late night notification on Wednesday, replaced the state of Jammu and Kashmir with the “union territory of Jammu and Kashmir” and announced omission of “permanent residents or hereditary state subjects”.
The UT of Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislature like Puducherry with an elected legislative assembly and a chief minister. Ladakh, on the other hand, will be a UT without legislature like Chandigarh. It will have two hill development councils.
Both UTs will be headed by lieutenant governors (L-G).
RK Mathur, Ladakh’s first L-G, was sworn-in on Thursday morning by the chief justice of Jammu and Kashmir high court.
GC Murmu, the L-G of Jammu and Kashmir, will be sworn-in later in the day.