New Delhi: Forty three days after the reading down of Article 370 by Parliament, Union home minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said the decision to integrate Jammu and Kashmir more closely with the rest of the country is an attempt by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to steer India towards the vision of “One India”.
“Today this is a decisive and determined and non corrupt government. Whether it was the decision of air strike or surgical strike, there are a lot of decisions which have to be considered such as — what if there is war? What if something goes wrong? And we decided that we would never compromise with the security of this country,” Shah said while speaking at the All India Management Association event.
“These strikes changed the way the world looked at us. Earlier they thought our defence and internal security plans barely existed but then they became an integral part of our policy making. Our detractors told us that nobody could breach our borders and today every soldier counts,” he added.
Even though big policy decisions had teething problems, which the people had to bear, not one bullet had been fired in Kashmir till 17 September, and peace prevailed in the Valley, he said.
Shah added that India was progressing very quickly economically, with infrastructure, agriculture, rural electrification and per capita income rising steadily. “We are progressing towards becoming a $5 trillion economy and it will happen before 2024 — we are confident of that.”
The idea of “New India,” Shah added, was Modi’s brainchild but the concept is not new.
“In five years there have been several changes. In 2014, when we came to power we studied several democracies across the world, and we adopted the best one with the aim that a multi party democratic system was meant to further national progress,” Shah said, adding that in 2013, there were cases of “corruption everyday worth Rs12 lakh crore, there was no security, our soldiers were taking the hit, internal security was in shambles and people were protesting.”
Indicating that the country had suffered a critical policy paralysis at a time when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) assumed power in 2014, Shah said the party’s decisions “are not based on vote bank politics but on what leads to development of the people”.