Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday blamed former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru for the existence of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and said the territory would not come into being if Nehru had not declared a ceasefire untimely, PTI reported. He also claimed former Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel should have dealt with the matter instead of Nehru.

“The Congress sees politics behind Article 370 abrogation, we don’t see it that way,” Shah said, addressing a rally in Mumbai ahead of Maharashtra Assembly elections slated for next month. He also claimed that “terrorism will be finished” soon, and said there had been no agitation in Kashmir.

The home minister added that not a single bullet had been fired in Jammu and Kashmir after the state’s special status was revoked. Three dynasties that had ruled Kashmir did not allow the anti-corruption bureau to be established in the state, Shah claimed in a reference to the family of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah.

“Those who indulged in corruption in Kashmir now are feeling the heat despite the cold there,” Shah said. He also took a dig at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar to tell people whether they support or are against the revocation of the region’s special status.

“I congratulate PM Modi’s bravery and grit,” Shah said, according to NDTV. “He removed Article 370 and 35A in the very first session of the Parliament as soon as we formed the government for the second time.” He also criticised Gandhi saying that three generations of Bharatiya Janata Party leaders had fought for the removal of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, adding that it was “not a political issue like you think”.

He also asked Gandhi to not politicise matters of national interest and added that the Congress leader needed to study national history and understand that the correct stand should be taken on such matters. The Union minister also claimed it was the Congress-led government in 1994 that had asked former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to present India’s stand on Kashmir at the United Nations.

Shah said the BJP considered the removal of the state’s status as a way to unite the nation while the Congress was attempting to keep the provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution alive. Without naming the parties, the home minister also asked the public to choose between a nationalistic party such as the BJP and one that only served a family like the Congress.

“This is the first election after the decision on Article 370,” The Hindu quoted Shah as saying. “Those parties who opposed the decision of abrogation of Article 370 should be shown their place in this election. The people of Maharashtra now need to take a decision.” Maharashtra will vote in a single phase on October 21, and the results will be declared on October 24.

Jammu and Kashmir has been under a curfew since August 5, when its special status was scrapped. National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah, leader Omar Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti have been put under detention, among others.

Now, follow and debate the day’s most significant stories on Scroll Exchange.