Binoo Joshi

Union Home Minister Amit Shah today declared that the Centre is committed to restore statehood to Jammu and Kashmir for which almost all the parties in the Union Territory are pitching for this .

In an interview with TV 18 tonight, the Home Minister while answering questions on Kashmir , reiterated that the statehood would be given to J&K . “ Yes I have stated in the Parliament that Kashmir that J&K would be given the statehood, this is what Prime Minister Narendra Modi, too, has stated it when he spoke about Kashmir ( after the abrogation of Article 370) .”

Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 was done away with by the Central Government on August 5 last year and on the same day its statehood was split into two Union Territories – Ladakh and J&K.

“ At the moment , our priority is development of J&K, and the statehood would be given as when the opportune time is there,” Amit Shah said, without specifying the timeframe for the restoration of the statehood.

Amit Shah said that the progress and development in J&K did not move as fast as it should have , but the process remained slow because of Covid. The Modi Government was devoted to fighting the Covid all over the country. This fight was also going on in J&K where the pandemic had hit like it had done across the country. This slowed the movement of the development.

Now, Manoj Sinha , he said, has gone there ( J&K) as its Lieutenant Governor . “ He is doing good job and has started very well and the pace of development has picked up.”

Answering a question regarding endorsement of Gupkar Declaration seeking restoration of Article 370 by Congress leader P Chidambaram , the Home Minister dared Congress president Sonia Gandhi to endorse it, “ then we will see where Congress will stand before the nation.”