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PoK will merge with India under PM Narendra Modi’s leadership: Tourism minister

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Union tourism and culture minister Prahlad Singh Patel, in an interview tells Timesofindia.com his views on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, post-poll violence in West Bengal, allegations of irregularities in the purchase of land for Ram temple in Ayodhya, farmers protest, holding Kumbh during second wave of Covid pandemic and impact of the coronavirus disease on tourism in India.
Excerpts:
Q: Do you think that the law and order situation has improved in Jammu and Kashmir because of it being a Union Territory (UT)?
A: Of course. The holding of panchayat and District Development Council (DDC) elections after so many years, the visit of unprecedented number of tourists in the UT and infrastructure development taking place at a fast pace are proofs.
Q: Will it continue like this? Won’t Jammu and Kashmir get statehood?
A: The party (BJP) and the (Modi) government do not renegade on their word. We are firm on our commitment but when things are happening peacefully, some other development works should take place. Moreover, being a border area, there are challenges from the strategic point of view. One aspect has been taken care of but the remaining part of Kashmir [Pak-occupied Kashmir (PoK)] remains to come back (to India).
Q: Does that (PoK) have to come back?
A: That has been passed by Parliament.
Q: Will it be merged under this tenure of the Modi government?
A: All the works so far have been done under the leadership of Modi ji, such as nullification of Article 370, the Ram Mandir verdict by Supreme Court, CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act), Triple Talaq Act, International Yoga Day, sending COVID vaccine to 150 countries and all other good things. We expect that this will also happen under his leadership.
Q: So, will PoK merge within India this term ( of the NDA government)?
A: I feel all of us would like to see that fortunate day. If anyone can achieve this, and the way things are moving, it is my firm belief that we would see with our own eyes that the Akhand Bharat concept would materialise under his leadership.
Q: Is the enhanced military movement happening towards achieving this goal?
A: I would not comment on this. My job is to ensure improvement in tourism, which I have done.
Q: Are there any plans to further bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir and make Jammu a separate entity?
A: I should not comment on this. The decisions of the government are well thought of. The gaps have been bridged. Leh-Kargil is an example. Their culture had suffered for all these years. Jammu would also be having its own sentiments. Our attempt would be to reestablish their cultural heritage. This is our work.
Q: What do you have to say about the alleged post-poll violence in West Bengal?
A: During the election, I stayed in North Bengal for a long period. There is a Naxalbari assembly constituency from where naxalism started. I went there. BJP and all of us are staunch opponents of the naxal ideology. A BJP candidate won from Naxalbari in the election. This is a significant political development. This means we have triumphed over the naxal ideology.
The post-poll violence taking place in West Bengal is pseudo-naxalism. There are several differences between the naxals and the perpetrators of the violence in Bengal. They followed democratic principles only till they won the election. They indulged in theatrics by showing a fractured leg. Thereafter, these pseudo-naxals have started terrorising the people worse than the naxals do. The naxals target and kill only the leaders whereas these pseudo-naxals are killing and attacking the common man who voted for a certain party. The naxals never indulge in rape. But these pseudo-naxals have adopted rape and gang-rape of common citizens as a major tool to terrorise those who supported a party.
The terror could be gauged from people announcing from loudspeakers that they committed a blunder by voting for a party and that they would never do so in future. We will have to fight this loathsome pseudo-naxalism. Not just democracy is in danger but also humanity is threatened. This is a violence which is based on power, authority and rule and which is quite dangerous.
We have fought the naxals. The BJP workers will fight them out too.
Q: Are you hinting at West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee‘s role in this?
A: I do not have any hesitation in saying that this political violence is 100 per cent taking place with the knowledge and under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee. I do not have any doubts about this. She is 100 per cent responsible for this. No one else can be blamed because only her diktat is followed in the party.
Q: Several BJP supporters have demanded imposition of President’s Rule in West Bengal. Do you agree with this?
A: The BJP has always believed that elected governments should not be destabilised. But it is not possible to reply in yes or no in this particular case. In a democratic set up, the concerned departments will take the right decision. While the Constitution allows many things, it also prohibits other things. The government will take the right decision within the constitutional framework. But those who believe in democratic principles should not wait for five years or the full tenure to end.
Q: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP Sanjay Singh and the Congress have levelled allegations of grave irregularities in the purchase of land for the Ram temple in Ayodhya. Your comments.
A: AAP was born recently but the Congress has left no opportunity to oppose and defame the Ramjanmabhoomi agitation in a planned manner. I am a person with a rural…



Read More: PoK will merge with India under PM Narendra Modi’s leadership: Tourism minister

2021-06-22 11:57:00

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