Patel Would Have Kept All Kashmir With India: Amit Shah

17 September 2014
The Indian Express
Harsha Raj Gatty

New Delhi: BJP president Amit Shah said on Wednesday that all of Kashmir would have been under India's control - with no need for Article 370 - if only Vallabhbhai Patel, and not Jawaharlal Nehru, had been in charge of the situation after independence. 'Even today, a big part of Kashmir is under Pakistan. I don't have any hesitation in saying that if the Kashmir issue had been handled by Sardar Patel instead of Jawaharlal Nehru, then a part of Kashmir would not have gone under Pakistan, and Article 370 too would not have been required, because Kashmir would then have been like any other territory of India,' Shah said. 'Have you ever heard of the whereabouts of Sardar Patel's family? Despite being a visionary and the unifier of India, the former advocate died with barely a few hundred rupees in his possession,' he said. The princely state of Hyderabad was spread over parts of what are today Karnataka, Telangana and Maharashtra. The BJP under Shah seeks to use the narrative of the Gorta resistance in its campaign to expand its base in election bound Maharashtra, as well as in Telangana and Karnataka. Despite uncertain historical evidence, the BJP has labelled the alleged killings at Gorta the 'Jallianwala Bagh of South India'. The 'martyrs memorial', scheduled to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 17, 2015, will cost Rs 27 lakh, contributed by young BJP workers from 54,000 polling booths in Karnataka. Shah described the losses suffered by the BJP in the assembly bypolls as minor aberrations, and expressed the confidence that it would win big in Maharashtra. 'Don't be disappointed by the recent election losses. These are temporary losses. The opposition perhaps has not realised that we have entered their bastions in Assam and Bengal,' Shah said. September 17 is commemorated as the day of Hyderabad's union with India. To mark the day Karnataka's Congress Chief Minister Siddaramaiah too garlanded a statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Gulbarga - which is one of the six north Karnataka districts that make up the Hyderabad-Karnataka region.