New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said that the Parliament has fulfilled the "incomplete dream" of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel by abrogating Article 370 and 35A from Jammu and Kashmir on August 5 as the state had turned into a gateway to terrorism.
Addressing a gathering before flagging off the 'Run for Unity' marathon from the National Capital's Dhyan Chand National Stadium to pay tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 144th birth anniversary, Shah said the credit goes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who took the initiative to abrogate Article 370 and 35A from Jammu and Kashmir.
Noting that it took 70 years to take the step, Shah mentioned that Patel had managed to integrate over 550 princely states, but Jammu and Kashmir had remained out.
"Article 370 had been the gateway for entry of terrorism in the country. By repealing the Article from Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister played a role to establish a gate on the gateway to stop terrorism," Shah said.
He noted that the merger of Jammu and Kashmir with India was the unresolved question of Indian unification because of Articles 370 and 35 A.
He said it was under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi that the task of merging Jammu and Kashmir with India was completed with the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A.
While remembering Patel, Shah also paid tributes to former prime minister Indira Gandhi who was assassinated on October 31, 1984.
The Home Minister also remarked that Sardar Patel was not given his due for many years after Independence and mentioned that the Statue of Unity, at 182 m, is one of the tallest statues in the world and a fitting tribute to the iron man and a recognition of his contribution to India.
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 $5 trillion economy by 2024.
Shah called upon everyone to commit themselves to building a strong and united New India.
Shah, after his address, administered the pledge of unity to all the participants and officials present at the venue and flagged off the run from Major Dhyan Chand Stadium. 'Run for Unity' is a marathon dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
Mentioning that Sardar Patel is the reason for a united India, Shah said the nation would forever be grateful to him.
Shah asserted that Run for Unity is a way for the people to reaffirm our commitment to a united, strong India and a fitting tribute to Sardar Patel.
Thousands of people, including school children and ex-servicemen along with a number of senior citizens, took part in the marathon.
Also present on the occasion were the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Anil Baijal, Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs and Civil Aviation and Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Hardeep Singh Puri and Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju.
The BJP has always blamed the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru for this contentious Article, stating that had Kashmir too been given to Patel, Article 370 would not have come into existence at all.