SRINAGAR: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday said his party will put all its force into the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s (J&K) statehood.
“There is no bigger issue than your statehood. Your right has been snatched by the Centre and Congress will use all its might to restore it,” said Gandhi while addressing a gathering in the Satwari area of Jammu.
Jammu and Kashmir lost its statehood on August 5, 2019, when the Centre scrapped its special status under Article 370 of the Constitution and split the state into two Union Territories.
Gandhi also accused the government of doing injustice to Kashmiri Pandits in the Union Territory and asked Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to apologise to the community for alms remarks.
“Today I met a delegation of Kashmiri Pandits who briefed me about various issues. They told me that when they went to meet LG, they were told not to seek alms. LG must realise, these people are seeking their rights, and apologise to the community,” Gandhi stated.
Many Kashmiri Pandit employees working under the prime minister’s package announced in 2008 are on strike in Jammu, demanding their relocation out of the Valley against the backdrop of targeted killings.
The former Congress president also said that during his Yatra in Jammu region, he met many people who told him that outsiders are being benefited by the government and locals have been deprived.
“Jammu and Kashmir is facing the highest percentage of unemployment in India. Educated people don’t have employment opportunities. Earlier, they had the option of joining the Indian Army, but now the BJP has brought the Agniveer scheme,” said Rahul Gandhi.
He said that the Agniveer scheme is weakening the Indian Army and Army personnel are against it.
“The unemployment is rising because the government is working only to benefit 2-3 industrialists,” he alleged.
On January 23, Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra started from Samba district’s Vijaypur and reached Jammu district in the afternoon where he was received by senior party leaders.
The Bharat Jodo Yatra will culminate in the Valley on January 30 with a mega public rally.