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2-min read

Rahul Gandhi Feels ‘Something Very Wrong’ as Govt Allows EU Leaders to Assess J&K Situation

Several leaders from the Congress have questioned the government for allowing the foreign leaders to visit J&K but preventing Indian leaders from doing so, claiming it was an insult to India's democracy.

News18.com

Updated:October 28, 2019, 11:41 PM IST
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Rahul Gandhi Feels ‘Something Very Wrong’ as Govt Allows EU Leaders to Assess J&K Situation
File photo of Rahul Gandhi.

Joining the growing opposition chorus against the government’s move to allow a delegation of European parliamentarians to visit Jammu and Kashmir, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday said there is “something very wrong with that”.

"MPs from Europe are welcome to go on a guided tour of Jammu and Kashmir while Indian MPs are banned and denied entry. There is something very wrong with that," he tweeted.

Several leaders from the Congress have questioned the government for allowing the foreign leaders to visit J&K but preventing Indian leaders from doing so, claiming it was an insult to India's democracy and "ultimate disrespect" to its sovereignty.

Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said the party would raise the issue in Parliament, adding India's decision violates the collective privileges of its MPs. Inviting EU lawmakers to JK is the "ultimate disrespect" to Indian Parliament's sovereignty, Sharma added.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh too asked why the "chest-beating champion of nationalism", an apparent dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has allowed European leaders to visit JK.

"When Indian political leaders have been prevented from meeting the people of J&K, what possessed the great chest-beating champion of nationalism to allow European politicians to visit J&K. This is an outright insult to India's own Parliament and our democracy," he tweeted.

A group of 27 EU lawmakers will travel to JK on Tuesday, in the first visit by a foreign delegation to Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5. They seek to talk to locals in Jammu and Kashmir and ask them about their experience.

The government has said the diplomatic outreach will allow EU leaders to "see things for themselves" in Kashmir and help it counter Pakistan's narrative.

Sharma said this government has maintained that Jammu and Kashmir is India's internal affair "but it has contradicted itself in its eagerness to grab headlines and embarrassed India".

"This stand of the government is self-defeating and contradicts its consistent position that JK is India's internal matter. Is this the new version of Indian nationalism," he asked.

The deputy leader of Congress in Rajya Sabha said even the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, of which he is the chairman, is yet to be briefed by the government on the JK situation. "But it has chosen to roll out a red carpet to the EU MPs. This matter will be raised in Parliament and the government will be held to account," he said.

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