Patel was right, Nehru wrong on Jammu and Kashmir: Prasad

Ahmedabad, September 11

Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday said India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru was wrong and the then home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was right in their approach to the issue of Jammu and Kashmir after Independence.

Referring to the current NDA government’s decision to abrogate Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Prasad said Prime Minister Narendra Modi showed immense courage and corrected that “historic blunder”.

“I want to say that in Jammu and Kashmir, Sardar Patel was right and Jawaharlal Nehru was wrong. It (Article 370) was a historical blunder committed (that time) and (by scrapping the special status) Narendra Modi as our PM, showing immense courage, corrected that historical wrong,” Prasad told reporters at a press meet.

The senior BJP leader was here today to highlight the achievements of the Modi government in its first 100 days of its second term.

“The decision to abrogate Article 370 is historic, courageous, far-reaching and it is also in the interest of Jammu and Kashmir and also for India. I congratulate our prime minister for the sheer courage he has shown. I also congratulate Union Home Minister Amit Shah for his strategic planning and execution (of the decision),” he said.

Prasad said “not a single bullet has been fired” in Jammu and Kashmir ever since the controversial provision of the Constitution was scrapped last month.

“Curfew has been lifted from all areas (in J&K), except those under the jurisdiction of 14 police stations there,” he said.

The law and justice minister said the entire world, including major countries like the UK, USA, Russia and France, “appreciated” India’s step to scrap the special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Even China did not “openly” raise its objection against India over this issue, he pointed out.

Slamming the Congress over the issue, Prasad said he could not understand what was the opposition party’s stand on it.

On Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s latest announcement to hold a large gathering in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), Prasad asked him to first talk about the democratic rights of people living in that area.

“What is the situation of people living in PoK? Were they given their democratic rights? Do they have employment opportunities? Instead of talking about Kashmir, both Imran Khan and Pakistan need to first talk about the violation of democratic rights of the people of PoK,” he said.

“Talk about what is happening with people living in Balochistan and Gilgit,” Prasad further said.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Khan said, “I am going to do a big jalsa in Muzaffarabad on Friday 13 Sept, to send a message to the world about the continuing siege of IOJK by Indian Occupation forces; & to show the Kashmiris that Pakistan stands resolutely with them.”

Prasad, who also holds the charge of communications, electronics & information technology ministries, listed several other achievements of the Modi government in its 100 days of rule, like criminalising triple talaq and amendment to the anti-terror law to designate an individual as terrorist.

He also made a mention of the bill entailing amendments to the POCSO Act by including death penalty for aggravated sexual assault on children, besides providing stringent punishments for other crimes against minors. — PTI

RELATED Azad, Patel meet PC in Tihar jail