Union Home Minister Amit Shah said today that Article 370 and Article 35A were the "gateway of terrorism" into Jammu and Kashmir. He went on to say that this "gateway" was closed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi by abrogating them.
Mr Shah also said Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's unfullfilled dream of fully integrating Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country was accomplished on August 5 when Article 370 and 35A were repealed.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 the 'Run for Unity' event to commemorate the 144th birth anniversary of Sardar Patel.
Nearly three months after the central government scrapped Jammu and Kashmir's decades-old special status under Article 370, the state has officially been split into two Union Territories - Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh - from midnight.
The two new Union Territories have come into existence on the 144th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who is credited for the merger of over 560 princely states into the Union of India. Today, October 31, is also celebrated as National Unity Day.
With the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir, the number of states in India has come down to 28 and the number of Union Territories has gone up to nine. While Jammu and Kashmir will continue to have a legislature, like in Puducherry, Ladakh will be without one, like Chandigarh.
The Narendra Modi-government had ended the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, fulfiling the BJP's long-standing promise in the first 100 days of the returning to power for a second term. The government reasoned that both Article 370 and 35A were "constitutionally vulnerable" and discriminatory and inhibited the development of the state.
(With inputs from PTI)