NEW DELHI: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said Article 370 and Article 35A were the gateway of terrorism into Jammu and Kashmir which was closed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi by abrogating them.
Shah also said Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's unfulfilled dream of integrating Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country was accomplished on August 5 when Article 370 and 35A were repealed.
"Article 370 and 35A were the gateway of terrorism in India. Prime Minister Modi has closed this gate by repealing them," he said while flagging off a run to commemorate the 144th birth anniversary of Patel here.
Expounding on the history of India's unification, Shah said that at the time of Independence, India was divided into several princely states by the British and the existence of a unified India was a challenge.
"It was only tireless perseverance by Sardar Patel, in spite of challenges, that led to the unification of India," a government press release said quoting Amit Shah.
Shah asserted that "Run for Unity" is a way for the people of India to reaffirm commitment to a united, strong India and is also a fitting tribute to Sardar Patel.
"Shah also remembered former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on her death anniversary. He remarked that Sardar Patel was not given his due for many years after independence. He said that the Statue of Unity, at 182 m, is one of the tallest statues in the world and a fitting tribute to Sardar Patel and a recognition of his contributions to India," a government press release said.
Shah said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has become one of the fastest-growing and largest economies of the world and is well poised to become a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024.
Prior to the flag-off, President Ram Nath Kovind, Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal paid floral tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his birth anniversary.
Various programmes are being organised across the country on the 144th birth anniversary of Patel today.
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(With ANI inputs)