Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation, Shri Amit Shah replied to the discussion on Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Amendment) Bill, 2023 in the Lok Sabha today. After discussion, the Lok Sabha passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Amendment) Bill, 2023.
In the Lok Sabha, Shri Amit Shah said that a total of 29 speakers expressed their views but all agreed with the objectives of the bill. He said that these bills will add another pearl to the chain of hundreds of progressive changes brought under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. Shri Shah said that these bills are going to provide rights and justice to those whom were treated unjustly, insulted and ignored for 70 years. Those who consider it as a means to garner votes in politics by just using them as a vote bank and giving good speeches cannot understand its name. He said that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is such a leader who himself has become the Prime Minister of the country after being born in a poor family and he knows the pain of the backward and the poor. He said that when it comes to promoting such people, respect matters more than help.
Union Home Minister said that the era of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir started after the 1980s and the people who had lived there for generations were completely displaced from there but no one cared about them. He said that those who had the responsibility to stop all this used to holiday in England. If they had ended terrorism in the beginning without vote bank politics and by taking precise measures then there would have been no need to bring this bill today. Shri Shah added that the displaced people had to live as refugees in other parts of their own country and as per the current figures, 1,57,967 people from about 46,631 families were displaced in their own country. He said that this bill is a bill to give them rights and representation.
Shri Amit Shah said that in 1947, 31,779 families were displaced from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to Jammu and Kashmir and out of these, 26,319 families started living in Jammu and Kashmir and 5,460 families started living in other parts of the country. He said that after the wars of 1965 and 1971, 10,065 families were displaced and overall, 41,844 families were displaced. He said that on August 5-6, 2019, Prime Minister Modi listened to the voices of these displaced people which were not paid attention in earlier decades and gave them their rights. Shri Shah said that judicial delimitation was part of the bill passed on August 5 and 6, 2019. He said that Delimitation Commission, Delimitation and Demarcated Assembly are the core of democracy and process of deciding the unit for electing people’s representatives. If the process of delimitation itself is not sacred, then democracy can never remain sacred, that is why a provision has been made in this bill that judicial delimitation will be done again. He said that all groups of displaced people asked the Delimitation Commission to take cognizance of their representation and it is a matter of joy that the Commission has made a provision that 2 seats will be reserved for displaced Kashmiri people and 1 seat to be reserved for the people displaced from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. He said that the Modi government has given legal framework to this system.
Union Home Minister said that for the first time in the history of Jammu & Kashmir, 9 seats have been reserved for Scheduled Tribes and seats have also been reserved for Scheduled Castes. Earlier there were 37 seats in Jammu which have now become 43, there were 46 seats in Kashmir earlier which have now become 47 and 24 seats have been kept reserved for Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Shri Shah said that earlier there were 107 seats in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, now there are 114 seats, earlier there were 2 nominated members in the Assembly, now there will be 5. He said that all this happened because on August 5-6, 2019, a historic bill was approved by the Cabinet under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and after its passage by the parilament Article 370 was abolished. He said that through these bills, in history the every oppressed, backward and displaced Kashmiri will remember efforts and blessings of the Lok Sabha that the Narendra Modi government has reserved 2 seats to provide justice to the brothers and sisters of their own country who were displaced since last 70 years. He said that in place of derogatory words like weak for the deprived people, the constitutional word of backward class kept for them.
In response to the question raised by some opposition members about the legitimacy of giving reservation to the displaced people, Shri Amit Shah said that this is a bill to give rights and representation to the displaced people of Kashmir. By giving reservation to displaced Kashmiri, they will have voice in the Kashmir Assembly and if a situation of displacement arises again, they themselves will stop it.
Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation said that when terrorism started in the valley and people were targeted and driven away from there, from that time till now we have seen people shedding crocodile tears, but it is Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi who wiped off their tears with full empathy. He said that we cannot imagine the pain of those people who abandoned their properties in Kashmir to save their lives and went to cities like Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Jammu or Delhi and lived in camps. When those people migrated from Kashmir, their property was confiscated and they were forced to sell their land at throwaway prices, in a way their property was snatched away and the administration remained silent and did not take any step.
Shri Amit Shah said that the government led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi made a new law to provide justice in this matter and by implementing it with retrospective effect, the people were given back their property. Shri Shah said that the government led by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has done the work of giving domicile certificates to about 1.6 lakh people. He said that after Shri Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister, a cash assistance amount of Rs 3250 per person and a maximum of Rs 13,000 per family is given. He said that the government is providing 9 kilos of rice, 2 kilos of flour and 1 kilo of sugar per person every month. Home Minister said that the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has done the work of giving a lump sum amount of Rs 5.5 lakh to the people coming from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. To those who claimed that no work has been done in the last few years, the Union Home Minister said that how will the people who are cut off from their roots know about this change. He added that the change in Jammu and Kashmir cannot be experienced by holidaying in England.
Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation said that a Backward Classes Commission was formed, which held several rounds of meetings with stakeholders with a participatory approach. The Commission met 198 delegations and 16,000 people in 750 days. The hearing was held in all the 20 districts and about 26,000 applications received by post were also taken into consideration. The suggestion of reforming the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act was a basic element among them. He said that this Act was existed earlier also, but it was for the weaker sections, whereas this time Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given them respect by giving them the constitutional name Other Backward Classes. Shri Shah said that it is a historical truth that the opposition party has opposed the backward classes the most and have worked to stop the backward classes. He questioned the opposition as to why the Backward Classes Commission was not given constitutional status for seventy years, whereas this is the mandate of the Constitution, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi gave it constitutional status.
Shri Amit Shah said that the opposition leaders who talk about backward class in public meetings should tell the public that who withheld the Kaka Kalelkar Commission report. After the Mandal Commission report came, it was not implemented until they were in power and even when it was implemented later, the leader of the opposition opposed it. Shri Shah said that the opposition never provided reservation to backward classes under the Central Admission Scheme. This work was done only in the government led by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and now backward class children have been given the opportunity to study in Sainik Schools, NEET and Kendriya Vidyalayas. Shri Shah said that earleir the idea of giving reservation to Economically Weaker Section (EWS) people was never been thought of. For the first time, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi made a provision of 10 percent reservation for poor children of unreserved castes. Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation also replied in detail to some legal and constitutional issues raised by the opposition.
Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation said that many members were concerned about terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and directly linked it to the abrogation of Article 370. Shri Shah said that he had earlier also said that at the root of terrorism is the feeling of separatism which has arisen due to Article 370 and with the removal of Article 370, there will be a huge reduction in separatism and due to this terrorism will also reduce. He said that between 1994 and 2004, a total of 40,164 incidents of terrorism took place, between 2004 to 2014 7,217 took place where as in the 9 years of Narendra Modi government, these incidents came down to only 2,197 with a 70 percent reduction. Shri Shah said that 65 per cent of these incidents occurred due to police action. He said that in the 9 years of Narendra Modi government, the number of deaths of civilians has decreased by 72 percent and the number of deaths of security forces by 59 percent. Shri Shah said that in 2010, there were 2,654 stone pelting incidents in Jammu and Kashmir while in 2023 there was not a single stone pelting incident. He said that in 2010 there were 132 organized strikes, while in 2023 there was not even a single strike. In 2010, 112 civilians died in stone pelting, whereas in 2023, not even one person died. In 2010, 6,235 security personnel were injured in stone pelting, not even a single one was injured in 2023. The Union Home Minister said that in this very House, opposition broke all decorum and said that abrogation of Article 370 would lead to bloodshed, but the Narendra Modi government has made such arrangements that no one had the courage to throw even a single pebble. He said that in 2010 there were 70 incidents of ceasefire violations but in 2023 there were only 2 such incidents. There were 489 incidents of infiltration in 2010, only 48 incidents took place in 2023.
Shri Amit Shah said that the Central Government has made tireless efforts under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to ensure the security of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and improve their quality of life. Shri Shah said that the Ministry of Home Affairs reviews the security situation in Kashmir every month and every three months he himself go there and review the security situation. Home Minister said that the Modi government has made a Zero Terror Plan which is being implemented since last 3 years and by 2026 the Zero Terror Plan will be completely implemented. He said that along with this, a complete area domination plan has been made which will be completed by 2026. Earlier only terrorists were killed, but now we have destroyed its entire ecosystem. Along with this, NIA has registered 32 cases under terror finance and these cases were registered because money was coming from Pakistan and Narendra Modi government will not let this happen. A total of 83 cases of terror funding have been registered, including 32 cases by NIA and 51 cases by SIA. Around 229 arrests have been made and the process is underway in the court to seize and auction 57 properties worth Rs 150 crore. 134 bank accounts were sealed in which Rs 122 crore were seized and another Rs 5.5 crore in cash was seized. He said that after the abolition of Article 370, cinema halls opened for the first time in Jammu and Kashmir in 2021 after 30 years. Shri Shah said that a multiplex was built in Srinagar, 4 new theaters opened in Pulwama, Shopian, Baramulla and Handwara and shooting of more than 100 films started. Bank loan proposals for about 100 cinema halls are under consideration by the banks. Shri Shah said that Article 370 was responsible for the death of 45,000 people in Jammu and Kashmir, which was abrogated by Prime Minister Modi. He said that in this country there should be only one symbol, only one constitution and only one head and for this purpose Shri Shyama Prasad Mukherjee ji had given his life and this was the wish of the country.
Union Home Minister said that Article 370 was a temporary provision which should have been abolished long ago, but no one dared. He said that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi showed courage and abolished Article 370. Shri Shah said that in accordance with the spirit of Constitution that Article 370 is temporary, Prime Minister Modi abolished it on August 5. He said that for the first time Kashmiri, Dogri, Hindi, English and Urdu were made the official languages of the state. He said that the Right to Education Act, Land Acquisition and Compensation Act, Forest Rights Act, SC-ST Prevention Atrocities Act, Whistle Blower Protection Act, Juvenile Justice Act and Minority Commission Act, 1992 were put on hold and but now they are being implemented. And now the duration of the assembly is also 5 years. He said that under the Har Ghar Tiranga campaign, there was not a single house in the valley where the Tricolour was not hoisted, this change has taken place there. He said that today every festival is celebrated with joy and happiness at Lal Chowk and people from every community participate in it. The spirit of the Constitution has now been taken to the grassroots level there.
Shri Amit Shah said that before the abrogation of Article 370, GSDP was Rs 1 lakh crore, which has doubled in just 5 years to Rs 2,27,927 crore today. Earlier there were 94 degree colleges, today there are 147, Jammu and Kashmir became the first state to have IIT, IIM and 2 AIIMS. He said that in the last 70 years there were only 4 medical colleges, now 7 new medical colleges have been built. 15 new nursing colleges have been establised, earlier the medical seats were 500, now after the abolition of Article 370, 800 more seats have been added. PG seats were 367, Modi government has done the work of adding 397 new seats. About 6 lakh people used to get mid-day meal, now 9,13,000 people get mid-day meal. The average of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana was 158 kilometers, now it has become 8,068 kilometers per year. 24,000 houses were given in 70 years, in the last 5 years the Modi government has given houses to 1,45,000 people. In 70 years, the earlier governments provided drinking water to 7,82,000 people, now the Modi government has provided drinking water to 13 lakh families. The Union Home Minister said that the Modi government did the work of bringing down the infant mortality rate from 22 to 14.30, earlier there were 47 Jan Aushadhi centres, now people are getting cheap medicines at 227 Jan Aushadhi centres. Youth participation in sports has increased from 2 lakh to 60 lakh. Pension beneficiaries have increased from 6 lakh to 10 lakh. Shri Shah said that all these changes have been made only by the Narendra Modi government after the removal of Article 370. He added that after the removal of Article 370, terrorism has reduced in Kashmir due to which a good atmosphere has been created there and huge development has taken place there.
Shri Amit Shah said that Jammu and Kashmir had to suffer for years due to two big mistakes made by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru during his tenure as Prime Minister. He said that Pandit Nehru’s first mistake was that when our army was winning, ceasefire was done as soon as it reached Punjab and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir was born. He said that if the ceasefire had been delayed by 3 days, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir would have been a part of India today. He said that the second big mistake was when they took our issue to the United Nations. Union Home Minister said that even when the matter was sent to the UN, the decision was taken very hastily. He said that this matter should not have been taken to the UN at all and even if it was taken, the matter should have been taken under Article 51 of the UN Charter instead of Article 35. The Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation said that despite advice given by several people on record, the matter was taken to the UN under Article 35. He said that former Prime Minister late Jawaharlal Nehru had written that it was his mistake, but it was not just a mistake but a blunder. The country lost big chunk of land; it was a blunder.
Home Minister said that in 2014 Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi started 63 projects at a cost of Rs 80,000 crore for the development of Jammu and Kashmir including projects related to electricity, infrastructure, irrigation, education and medical facilities. Of these, 9 projects costing about Rs 21,000 crore were in Ladakh. 32 projects of Jammu and Kashmir, worth Rs 58,477 crore have almost been completed and out of Rs 58,000, the expenditure of Rs 45,800 crore has been utilised. He said that investments have been made in hydro projects in the last 10 years like 642 MW Kiru Hydro Project worth Rs 4,987 crore with a target of 5000 MW, 540 MW Kwar Hydro Project at a cost of Rs 5000 crore, 850 MW Ratle Highway Project at a cost of Rs 5,200 crore, 1000 MW Sopak Dal Hydro Project at a cost of Rs 8,112 crore, 1856 MW Sawalkot Hydro Project at a cost of Rs 2300 crore and Shahpur Khandi Dam Irrigation and Power Project at a cost Rs 2793 crore. For the first time, a project has been started there to obtain 1600 MW solar energy, 38 group stations have been constructed, 467 kilometers of new transmission lines have been laid, 266 Up stations have been built and work of securing the 11000 circuit kilometers of ST and IT lines have been done by the government led by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
Union Home and Minister of Cooperation said that as far as irrigation is concerned, the Ravi Canal Project worth Rs 62 crore has been completed. The work of Tassar Chalan Teen Tal Irrigation Project at a cost of Rs 45 crore has been completed. The Phase-III of worth Rs 399 crore for flood management of Jhelum and tributaries has been completed. The Phase-II of worth Rs 1632 crore is going on and after the completion of Phase-I, the capacity of transmision has increased from 31885 to 41000. He said that Shahpur Kandi Dam project has also been completed. The major canals of Jammu province had not been desilted for many decades. Within 59 days of imposition of President’s rule, the desilting work was completed after 70 years. The rail network has expanded. The Rs 8.45 crore Qazikund Banihal tunnel has been constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 3127 crore. About 8000 kilometers of new roads have been built in rural areas. Shri Shah said that 10 crafts of Jammu and Kashmir got GI tag, Gucchi mushroom of Doda got GI tag, Basmati rice of R S Pura was issued organic certificate and Rs 5013 crore scheme for comprehensive agricultural development was completed.
Home Minister said that across the country, the government bears the entire cost of treatment up to Rs 5 lakh for poor people specifically, but in Jammu and Kashmir, the government bears the treatment cost of all the people up to Rs 5 lakh. He said that the government has handled Jammu and Kashmir with full sensitivity. Before the present government came to power, the last available figure of tourists was around 14 lakhs, whereas in the year 2022-23, 2 crore tourists reached Jammu and Kashmir and, this year by June 2023 the figure of one crore has already been touched. He expressed confidence that the record of arrival of 2 crore tourists under the government led by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will be broken by this December. Shri Shah said that Jammu and Kashmir has become a destination whose environment and nature has a global and modern outlook. Home stay policy has been framed in the state, film policy has been framed, work has also been done to frame a policy for house boats, Jammu Ropeway Project has been completed with a cost of Rs 75 crore and industrial policy has also been framed.
Shri Amit Shah said that the Bill we have tabled is a Bill to give rights to those people who were deprived for years, who were deprived of rights, who lost their country, state, house, land and their property in their own country and became destitute. He said that this is a Bill to honour the backward classes of people with the constitutional term Other Backward Classes. The Union Home Minister requested the House to cooperate for passing the Bill as the purpose of this Bill is very sacred.