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'PoK is a part of India, we have rights over it': Home Minister Amit Shah

Lok Sabha elections 2024: CAA is the country's law, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said in an interview with ANI

Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah (Photo: PTI)

Vasudha Mukherjee New Delhi

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Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday reiterated that Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) was a part of India, stating that the country had "a right over it" during an interview with news agency ANI.

Speaking on the protests that have erupted since May 10 on the other side of the border, the home minister said, “There is mismanagement there, it is their subject...but Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is ours because the entire Kashmir has merged with the Indian Union. How to take that right is India's question."

While reiterating Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) commitment to reclaiming PoK, Shah slammed the Opposition parties for suggesting a policy of appeasement towards Pakistan.

Referring to an old comment made by former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah that India needs to “respect Pakistan because they have an atom bomb,” Shah said, "Will an Atomic power with a 1.3 billion population Bharat, be scared of someone and give up its right? Rahul Baba should explain to the country what their alliance leaders are saying, respect Pakistan? Give up PoK?.. Never!"

"As far as PoK is concerned, it is not only the commitment of the BJP but also the commitment of the Parliament of the country. PoK is a part of India and we have rights over it. No one can deny that," the BJP leader asserted.

Commenting on the announcement that 14 people had been handed citizenship under the  Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Home Minister Amit Shah said, "Today in Delhi, 300 people are being given citizenship under CAA. CAA is the country's law." 

Shah further slammed the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for contesting two seats without disclosing it ahead of time.

"Anyone can contest from anywhere but Rahul Gandhi should have said before elections that he is going to contest on 2 seats. I think from the democratic point of view, it is not right to hide it," he said.

He questioned Gandhi's motives for contesting in both Wayanad and Raebareli following post-poll surveys.

"He (Rahul Gandhi) should have told the people of Wayanad about it and then asked them to make their choice...When you see a threat in a post-poll survey, and then you come to Raebaerli, I think it is not correct," he added.

Shah asserted that electoral stature is earned through public support, not by birth. He expressed confidence in Dinesh Pratap Singh's ability to defeat Rahul Gandhi in Raebareli.

The Home Minister’s comments come as the Lok Sabha elections 2024 are underway across the country. Four out of seven phases of the elections have concluded, with Phase 5 slated for May 20. This phase will see 695 candidates from 49 constituencies across eight states and Union Territories go to polls. Voting will take place across five seats in Bihar, one in Jammu and Kashmir, three seats in Jharkhand, one in Ladakh, 13 seats in Maharashtra, five seats in Odisha, 14 in Uttar Pradesh and seven seats in West Bengal.

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First Published: May 15 2024 | 6:48 PM IST

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