Bharatiya Janata Party National President Amit Shah claimed on Sunday that India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was responsible for the present situation in Kashmir. The BJP chief made the remark while addressing the Vijay Sankalp Sammelan in Jammu, The Indian Express reported.

Shah alleged that Nehru kept the Kashmir matter lingering after Independence. “The issue of Hyderabad and Junagadh were bigger than that of Jammu and Kashmir, but [first Home Minister] Sardar Patel resolved them overnight,” he said.

Shah said that Congress President Rahul Gandhi should not worry about Kashmir as the BJP, not the Congress, is in power at the Centre. “It is our resolve that we will not allow Kashmir to secede from India,” the BJP chief said.

Shah said the murder of 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel in Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14 was an “act of cowardice”. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has authorised security forces to take any punitive action they think fit against the perpetrators of terror,” he added.

“This is the same Jammu and Kashmir for whose total integration, Jan Sangh’s first president, Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee, laid down his life,” the BJP chief claimed. Mookerjee died in 1953 of a heart attack while under arrest in Kashmir.

Shah claimed that under the Congress, National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party governments, Jammu and Ladakh faced discrimination. He said Modi has ensured that the funds appropriated for these regions are spent on development.

The BJP chief added that every “illegal immigrant from Kashmir to Kanyakumari will be thrown out of the country”.

Shah claimed that only Modi can provide security to the country, give a befitting reply to Pakistan and make India a world power, the Hindustan Times reported. He alleged that the Opposition does not have any leader who can take on the mantle of the prime minister.