Abrogation of Art. 370 great cause of people: VP

Nellore (AP), Nov 14  Abrogation or Article 370 of the Constitution was a great cause of the people of the country and also a historic moment in his life, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu said here on Sunday.

“It was my life ambition and mission since childhood. Kashmir is an integral part of India. No commas, question marks. Each inch of Kashmir belongs to India. They are equal citizens. That’s my conviction,” the Vice-President remarked.

He was happy to have presided over the Rajya Sabha when the historic Bill was passed, Venkaiah Naidu said and recalled the “tension” that he was put under a day before.

The Vice-President was addressing the 20th anniversary celebrations of his Swarna Bharat Trust at Venkatachalam in SPS Nellore district here.

Reacting to Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s mention of the Article 370 abrogation Bill, Venkaiah Naidu said it was the people’s wish, but was not respected all these years, for whatever reasons.

“A day before the Bill, Prime Minister Narendrabhai Modi came to my house and told me the Kashmir Bill was to be introduced in the Rajya Sabha first. I told him why don’t we do it in the Lok Sabha, where you have two-thirds majority. He said Venkaiah ji, better do it in the Rajya Sabha first, the Vice-President recalled.

He said there were doubts and apprehensions that something would happen (in Rajya Sabha).

“There was tension. I was worried. My wife and daughter were worried about my health because anything can happen in the House on Kashmir. We called our cardiologist, Balram Bhargava. He said he will be sitting in the gallery, so don’t worry,” Venkaiah Naidu said.

“Many feared there would be bloodshed. But the way Amit Shah presented it in the House ensured that everything went well. It was not passed in haste, but after a detailed discussion. Everybody was given an opportunity to speak,” he added.

“People were expecting Article 370 to go. This is a great cause of the people. It was passed in the Rajya Sabha without any incident. I appreciate the Prime Minister and the Home Minister for it. It’s a historic moment in my life,” Venkaiah Naidu remarked.

Earlier in his speech, the Home Minister recalled how Venkaiah Naidu was opposed to Article 370 since his student days.

“As Vice-President and Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, he saw the (abrogation Bill) passed in the House. God has given that opportunity, seeing his conviction, Shah observed

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