J&K under ‘direct assault’ from new Delhi: Rahul Gandhi

Srinagar, August 10 (KMS): All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary Rahul Gandhi Tuesday said that J&K was “under the direct assault from New Delhi”, and added that the Government of India should restore full statehood to J&K and conduct the elections in a free and fair manner.

Rahul, who arrived in Kashmir on a two-day sojourn, also said that he is fighting against Prime Minister Narendera Modi and his policies of “dividing India” and he will continue his fight till he wins.

Addressing a gathering at J&K Congress headquarters at Moulana Azad Road in Srinagar, Rahul said today there is not the assault on J&K only but other parts of India also like Tamil Nadu, Bengal and other States. “But one thing is clear that J&K is under direct assault from New Delhi while other parts are facing an indirect attack,” Rahul added. He said Congress party has a clear stand for J&K. “Statehood should be restored in full and there should be Assembly polls in a free, fair and transparent manner,” Rahul said.

Replying to senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad’s suggestion regarding seeking a bill in the parliament to press for restoration of Statehood for J&K, Rahul said: “I am not allowed to speak in the parliament. I can’t speak about Raffle, unemployment and corruption. They (BJP) have attacked judiciary, Lok Sabha and even the voice of media stands muzzled. Journalists can’t write what they want to.”

He said that when there was a Congress government in J&K, major schemes like Udaan were launched and Panchayat polls were held.” “We brought experts to Kashmir University and sent Kashmiri youth to states of India. But they (BJP) attacked this process too,” he said.

Rahul said that he can feel the pain of people of J&K. “My message to you is that I am with you to build a relation based on love and honour. I am fighting against PM Modi. My fight is against Modi’s ideology and violence he is preaching besides his mission of breaking India. I will continue to fight till victory,” the Congress leader said.

He said J&K people have an age-old culture of love, honour and whatever “you want to do for people J&K should be based on love and honour.” “If you start your hatred for people of J&K, nothing can be achieved, “Rahul said in an obvious reference to BJP. He said earlier, during Covid and post abrogation of Article 370, he tried to visit J&K, but was denied all the time,” he said.

Rahul said that he has a Kashmir connection as his ancestors were living in Valley. “Today, my family lives in Delhi, before that they were living in Alahbad and before that, they were living in Kashmir. So I have inherited a tinge of Kashmiriyat that lies inside me,” he said. Rahul who is also the Congress MP said he will visit Jammu and Ladakh very soon.

On the occasion, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said they don’t want Pondicherry and Delhi like government in J&K. He said that they don’t want the Lt. Governor to run the affairs. He maintained J&K is a border region and LG can’t see law and order situation there, adding that only the local chief minister can do so.

Earlier in the day, Azad, speaking to reporters outside the Kheer Bhawani temple in Tulmulla area of Ganderbal, called for restoration of J&K’s statehood before assembly elections are held and batted for securing land and job rights for its residents. He said that the Kashmiris’ land and job rights, which were taken away after Article 370 was revoked, should be secured like they were before August 5, 2019 through a new law when the statehood is restored. He also said Kashmiri Pandits be brought back to the Valley.