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PoK part of India; Hindus, Muslims living there are ours: Shah

March 24, 2024
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New Delhi:  Union Home Minister Amit Shah said Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) is part of India and Hindus and Muslims residing in the held territory are “ours”.

“PoK is part of India. There is no question of Hindu or Muslim. Muslims or Hindus there are ours,” Shah was quoted by India Today.

On the party’s slogan, of `char sau paar’, Shah’s said: “We have a track record of the past 10 years and an agenda for the next 25 years—to build a ‘Mahan Bharat’.”

Apart from electoral math, the home minister explained the government’s position on a variety of issues—from the Uniform Civil Code to the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor, from the caste census to One Nation, One Poll, from the allegation that the BJP unleashes central investigating agencies against its opponents to the violence in Manipur.

On electoral bonds, Shah remained undeterred, claiming that the BJP got only Rs 6,000 crore out of the total Rs 20,000 crore of bonds. While respecting the court judgment, he feared overturning the bonds would mean black money would return to politics.

Shah maintained his party follows the agenda of development, not division, an agenda tied to the nation’s security, self-respect, and the primacy of its culture. Doffing a hat to his boss and political mentor and the prime minister of the country, Narendra Modi, he said his rise has meant the end of caste­ism, nepotism, appeasement, and corruption in Indian politics. “My political birth was in the BJP, my demise, too, will be in the BJP,” he said.

On alliances as polls neared, he said alliances were about chemistry, not physics, that one plus one is not always two, sometimes it is 11 and many times one plus one becomes zero. The first alliance was keeping long-term imperatives in mind, the split with JJP was because of seat-sharing disagreement.

It was at the 21st edition of the India Today Conclave, a day before the schedule for the summer’s general election was announced when the home minister answered with a straight bat every bouncer that was thrown his way. Be it the notification of the Citizenship Amendment Act, the Supreme Court turning the heat on electoral bonds, the breaking and unbreaking of alliances, Shah clarified his party, the BJP’s, position on all, sometimes with disarming wit, at other times with brusque dismissal.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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