Amit Shah: As the region “is ours,” 24 seats have been set aside for Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), according to Union Home Minister Amit Shah‘s statement to the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. During a debate on the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, the Home Minister was speaking in the parliament.
Lok Sabha Approval
These two bills were approved by the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. He stated in this debate that Pakistan-occupied Kashmir has 24 seats set aside by the Delimitation Commission. A Delimitation Commission has been established by the Centre to determine the boundaries of Jammu and Kashmir’s parliamentary and assembly constituencies.
Seat Redistribution in Kashmir
He added that Kashmir had 47 seats previously, but now had 47, and that Jammu had 37 seats previously, but now had 43. “Earlier, there were 37 seats in Jammu, now there are 43. Earlier there were 46 in Kashmir, now there are 47 and in PoK, 24 seats have been reserved since PoK is ours,” Shah said in the Parliament. He added that with the passing of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, there will now be five nominated members in the J&K Assembly.
Gender Inclusivity in Assembly Nominations
“Earlier, two women were nominated by the Governor in the state assembly. And now, two of the Kashmiri migrants, out of whom one must be a woman, and one person from PoK,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. Amit Shah also used this discussion as an opportunity to criticise Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, accusing the late Indian Prime Minister of being the cause of the PoK problem.
Amit Shah’s Accusation
“The problem of Pakistan occupied Kashmir occurred because of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Otherwise, that part would have belonged to Kashmir. Nehruji was responsible for POK,” he said. He also mentioned that Pandit Nehru was said to have said that it was “his mistake” how the PoK issue was handled. “Nehruji said it was his mistake. It was not a mistake. It was a blunder to lose so much land of this country,” Shah roared in the Lok Sabha.
Congress Walkout Drama
Several Congress MPs left the Parliament as Shah was speaking about India’s first prime minister. Shah responded to the Congress MPs leaving by saying that “they would have resigned and left” if he had used the term “Himalayan” to characterise Nehru’s mistakes. Shah claimed that Nehru made two significant “blunders” that caused Jammu and Kashmir to suffer. These included presenting the Kashmir dispute to the UN and declaring a cease-fire.
UN Intervention Critique
“If there had been a ceasefire after three days, PoK would have been a part of India today… The second is to take our internal issue to the UN,” he noted. In addition, he held the Congress accountable for the Kashmiri Pandits’ early 1990s exodus. Shah pointed out that if vote bank politics hadn’t existed, the exodus might have been prevented. “When terrorism tightened its grip, when everyone started being targeted and driven away, many people expressed their so-called concerns over this. Many people shed crocodile tears over the poor state of the victims, and many people consoled them with good words,” Shah said.