‘Why Did Nehru Take Kashmir to UN?’ Nirmala Sitharaman Questions in Rajya Sabha


Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday said after the abrogation of Article 370, terror justice, democracy and economic opportunities are reaching Jammu and Kashmir. Replying to the nearly four-hour-long discussion for the Budget for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, she said there has been a significant drop in terror-related incidents and increased opportunities of investment and jobs in J&K.

Here are the top quotes from Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s speech:

• The various impediments which prevailed in the state for industrial development have also been removed, and the industrial promotion scheme of J & K given by Government of India has opened new doors for the development in J & K,” Sitharaman said.

• Slamming the Nehru government of ‘internationalising” the Kashmir issue to the United Nations in 1947, she said India could have handled it. “It was our first PM Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru ji who internationalised the Kashmir issue. He took it to the United Nations in December 1947. Why?…This issue shouldn’t have gone to a global forum. It’s an Indian issue. We could’ve handled it.”

• She hailed the union territory’s vaccination coverage and said, “100 per cent Covid-19 vaccination of all eligible population has been achieved in Jammu and Kashmir.”

• FM Sitharaman said 180 terrorists (148 local, 32 foreigners and 42 top commanders) were eliminated in 2021. She said, 38 terrorists (28 local and 10 foreigners) have been eliminated this year up till now in J&K.

• From Jan Sangh’s days, our manifestos have spoken about the abrogation of Article 370. It was a promise given to the people of the country and we have fulfilled it, she said.

• During Dubai Expo in January 2022, investment proposals worth Rs 3500 cr were finalised for J&K…Other global investors have also signed MoUs with J&K govt including EMAAR Groups and other companies.

• The level of GST collection for this year as of Feb is Rs 12,127 cr for J&K, which is much higher than the estimate set for this entire year. That’s the kind of revenue being generated in a state which is being governed transparently now.

• For something which has been from then (late 1980s) messed around and injustice done to the people of J&K, after the abrogation of Article 370, you see justice, democracy, economic development and rights reaching everybody.

• She also rebutted the Opposition’s charge that the BJP cannot absolve itself of the responsibility for the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits in 1990 as it was supporting the then V P Singh-led government at the Centre. The minister said that terror killings were carried out in Kashmir when the National Conference was in power in J-K in alliance with the Congress and recalled the then governor Jagmohan’s warning about dark clouds of terror overpowering the Valley.

• During the discussion, the Congress party had targeted the BJP, saying it had supported the V P Singh-led government at the Centre in 1990 when Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave the Valley after they were targeted by terrorists. “I just want to put the facts on record. The National Conference government with the support of the Indian National Congress was in power in J&K from November 1986 to January 18, 1990. And Governor Jagmohan reached J&K (on January 20, 1990) after the resignation of the then Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah….20th January 1990 is when the Governor reaches Srinagar,” the minister said.

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