Those who didn’t believe in Constitution have voted in Srinagar election: Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah addresses a rally in West Bengal on Wednesday. (UNI)
Union Home Minister Amit Shah addresses a rally in West Bengal on Wednesday. (UNI)

‘8-13 pc voting during Farooq’s tenure, now 36 pc’

Stoning, ‘Azadi’ slogans being witnessed in PoJK

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, May 15: Union Home Minister Amit Shah today said the Jamaat-e-Islami and Hurriyat Conference, who don’t believe in the Indian Constitution earlier, have voted in Srinagar Parliamentary constituency election held on May 13 boosting the voting percentage to 36 which used to be between 8 to 13 percent during Farooq Abdullah Government.

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“We have taken some hard steps. Those booked in FIR for stone pelting will not get the Government job. Those linked to terror have been removed from the Government services,” he said in an interview to a news agency.
Shah said those who earlier didn’t believe in the Indian Constitution including Hurriyat Conference and Jamaat-e-Islami have voted in Srinagar Lok Sabha seat election. Due to this, the voting percentage which used to be 8, 10 or 13 percent during Farooq Abdullah regime has gone up to 36 percent. Even voting percentage of Kashmiri Pandits has also reached 35, he added.
“Vote anyone but vote openly. This is your democratic right,” Shah said.
The Home Minister said after abrogation of Article 370, Kashmir has witnessed major changes and it was after 33 years that theatres have opened, Tazia procession was taken out, 2.11 crore tourists visited last year and not even a single incident of stone pelting took place during 2023 and 2024.
“Thousands of crore worth investments have come in Jammu and Kashmir. Major development schemes worth Rs 58,000 crore have been completed. Thirty three thousand representatives of Panchayats have been elected,” he said.
Shah said following abrogation of Article 370, peace has returned to Kashmir but Pakistan occupied Jammu Kashmir (PoJK) is witnessing protests while slogans of `Azadi’ which were earlier raised here are now being heard in PoJK.
Addressing a massive public rally at Serampore in West Bengal, Shah said the slogans of ‘Azadi’ (independence) and protests are now echoing in PoJK.
“Protests which were witnessed earlier in Kashmir are now rocking PoJK. Stones were earlier pelted in Kashmir but now they are being thrown in PoJK. Slogans of ‘Azadi’ which were heard in the Valley are being raised in PoJK,” Shah said referring to large scale protests in occupied Kashmir for past one week in which half a dozen protesters and police officer have been killed and scores of others have been injured.
“As far as PoJK is concerned, it is not only the commitment of the BJP but also the commitment of the Parliament of the country. PoJK is a part of India and we have right over it. None can deny this,” Shah later said in an interview to the news agency.
The Home Minister lashed out at Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar and National Conference vice president Dr Farooq Abdullah for their statements that Pakistan has atom bomb and so we should respect them.
“Will an atomic power with a 130 crore population Bharat, be scared of someone and give up its right? Rahul Gandhi should explain to the country what are their alliance leaders saying,” he said.
On BJP not contesting from Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency which went to polls in fourth phase on May 13, Shah said we accept that our organization is not strong there as of now but we are expanding it.
“When the organization becomes fit, we will contest elections and I am very confident that we will win,” he added.
Shah said so many bomb blast occurred in 10 years of UPA Government headed by Manmohan Singh and asked whether any concrete reply was given for any of them? “What did they do? They didn’t even oppose it for the fear of losing minority vote bank”.
He said the BJP Government has transformed the situation in Kashmir after abrogation of Article 370.
“Had they seen Pakistan’s reaction after surgical and air strikes, they wouldn’t have said this. They have become of such a petty mindset that they are misleading people as is nothing has happened,” Shah said on Opposition raking up air strike in Balakote and Pulwama terror attack in the elections.
On steps being taken for merging PoJK with India, he said the steps are taken at the right time after assessing the situation of the country and the world.
“Such steps are taken at the right time after looking at the state of the country and the world. But we have decided on a goal,” he said.
On protests in PoJK, Amit Shah said: “There is mismanagement, it is their subject…but Pakistan-occupied Jammu Kashmir is ours because the entire Kashmir has merged with the Indian Union. How to take that right is India’s question…”

Shah reaching Srinagar today
Union Home Minister Amit Shah is likely to reach Srinagar tomorrow evening on a two-day visit to Kashmir.
Shah is expected to arrive in Srinagar tomorrow evening and meet several delegations.
He is also likely to chair a meeting during his overnight stay in the Valley.
Local BJP leaders, delegations from the Pahari community, trade bodies and civil society are scheduled to meet the Home Minister.
The BJP has not fielded its candidates for the three Lok Sabha seats in Kashmir but has unofficially extended support to some of the new political parties formed after the abrogation of Article 370.