Had Sardar Patel been PM, Kashmir issue would have been resolved: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaking in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaking in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

NRC an issue of national security, not vote bank
PM takes dig at Azad, says New India destined to come

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, June 26: In significant remarks which directly targeted first Prime Minister of independent India, Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today that if Sardar Patel would have been the first Prime Minister of India, Kashmir issued would have been resolved.
Modi also targeted former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad for his remakrs that he doesn’t want `New India’ but wants the `Old India’ back saying Azad is having blurred vision and maybe he is seeing everything from political spectacles.
The Prime Minister was replying to debate on Motion of Thanks on President’s Address in the Rajya Sabha. He had replied to the debate in the Lok Sabha yesterday.
Replying to the Opposition Congress charge made during debate on the Motion of Thanks that the BJP was trying to usurp the legacy of Sardar Patel, the Prime Minister said he still believe that had Sardar Patel been made the first Prime Minister of India, Kashmir issue would have been resolved.
“Sardar Patel lived and died as Congressman. When we are paying tributes to the great leader, the Congress has a problem,” he added.
The BJP has quite often targeted the approach of Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of the independent India on Kashmir and said had Sardar Patel been the Prime Minister at that time; he would have resolved Kashmir issue then.
Turning towards Ghulam Nabi Azad, Modi said: “I think Azad Sahab is having a blurred vision. Maybe he is seeing everything from political spectacles”.
“Ghalib said something for such people,” the Prime Minister said and quoted famous poet Mirza Ghalib’s couplet “Ta Umr Ghalib Ye Bhool Karta Raha, Dhool Chehre Pe Thi, Aaina Saaf Karta Raha (the entire life Ghalib kept making mistake of cleaning the mirror when the dust my on my face)”.
He tried to drive home the point that fault lies with the Congress and the concept of ‘New India’, which Azad had opposed in his speech, was good.
Taking a swipe at the Congress, Modi said Patel was their party leader and they should at least once go to the Statue of Unity in Gujarat to pay homage. The Congress should in fact hold their Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting there, he asserted.
“Azad Saheb Kuch Din Guzarei Gujarat Mein (Mr Azad please spend some days in Gujarat),” Modi quipped, using a tagline of Gujarat Tourism.
Taking another jibe at Azad, Modi said during the debate some people demanded return to ‘Old India’ instead of ‘New India’, where technology is being used to ease lives and end corruption.
While participating in debate on Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address in Rajya Sabha, Azad had stated that he doesn’t want the ‘New India’ but wants the ‘Old India’ back.
“Do they want an ‘Old India’ where Cabinet decision is torn in a press conference, where Navy assets are used for picnic, where scams are order of the day, where `tukde-tukde’ (separatist) gang gets support of leaders, where middlemen are required for Railway tickets, MP’s letter is needed for gas connection, where interviews are held for low-level jobs such as Peon in a Government department and there is rampant Inspector Raj,” the Prime Minister asked.
Modi said the citizens of the country are not willing to go back to the ‘Old India’. The `New India’s is destined to come, he added.
Asserting that National Register for Citizens (NRC) is not a vote bank issue for his Government but the issue of national security, Modi said the move to list citizens and identify outsiders was done on the orders of the Supreme Court.
PTI Adds: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today broke his silence on lynching of a Muslim youth in Jharkhand, saying it has pained him and the guilty must be severely punished, but stressed that all incidents of violence in the country, whether in Jharkhand, West Bengal or Kerala, should be treated the same and law should take its course.
Addressing Rajya Sabha, he also spoke on the death of over 130 children this month from Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) or ‘brain fever’ in Bihar saying it was a matter of “shame” and the “biggest failure” of seven decades that outbreak of such disease continues to kill even after so many years of independence.
In his over an hour long reply to the debate on Motion of Thanks to President, Modi launched a blistering attack on the Congress saying it was sheer arrogance of the grand old party which is unable to accept its defeat and continues to question the mandate of the people through attacks on EVMs.
Modi, who received flak from the opposition over his ‘silence’ on the lynching incident in BJP-ruled Jharkhand, said “security of every citizen is our Constitutional duty”.
“The lynching in Jharkhand has pained me. It has saddened others too. Guilty should get severest punishment but for this the entire State has been pronounced guilty and everyone put in dock, which is not right,” he said.
A Muslim youth, accused of stealing a motorcycle, was beaten up by a mob and a video showed that he was purportedly made to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Jai Hanuman’ in the Saraikela Kharsawan district of Jharkhand. He later died.
The Prime Minister said some people in Rajya Sabha are calling Jharkhand a hub of lynching. “Is this fair? Why are they insulting a State.”
“None of us have the right to insult the state of Jharkhand,” he said and referred to violence in States ruled by opposition parties.
“All kinds of violence whether in Jharkhand or West Bengal or Kerala should be treated as same and law should take its course,” he said.
The BJP has been alleging that its workers are being targeted in political violence in TMC-ruled West Bengal and in Kerala, where the Left Democratic Front is in power.
On the death of children in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar where BJP and its ally JDU are in power, he said the Centre is extending all help to the State to fight the problem.
“In modern times, such a situation is a matter of pain as well as shame for all of us,” he said. “This is the biggest failure in last seven decades and we should take it seriously.”