“Propaganda” says Congress on ministers’ visit to J&K


The Centre’s plan to send 36 ministers and BJP leaders to Jammu and Kashmir in a massive outreach programme has drawn ridicule from the Congress, which has questioned the government’s claim about the situation being normal there, NDTV reported.

“Home Minister says it is all normal. If it is normal then why 36 ministers are visiting? Their going proves that problem is still there, it is not normal,” NDTV ¬†quoted senior Congress leader and former union minister Kapil Sibal as having said, dubbing the visit a “propaganda mission”.

The party also questioned if Union ministers can visit Jammu and Kashmir, why can’t opposition leaders be allowed?

“If these government ministers can go, why can’t we?” Sibal said, alleging that the opposition leaders are being blocked as they would meet the common people and understand their problems.

Starting Saturday, 36 ministers would be on multiple trips to various parts of Jammu and Kashmir. The list includes Purshottam Singh Rupala, Mahendra Nath Pandey, Gen VK Singh, Smriti Irani, G Kishen Reddy, Gajender Singh Shekhawat, Anurag Thakur, Jitender Singh, Hardeep Puri, Piyush Goyal, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Kiren Rijiju, said the report.

The Kashmir Valley has been under a series of restrictions since the government’s announcement in August, which includes the detention of its political leaders and internet blackout that’s being removed in phases.

“We will see whom they meet,” the report Congress’s Ghulam Nabi Azad as having said. “So far two foreign delegations have gone there. They met only the people the union government wanted them to meet. They neither met the local people, nor the political leaders who have been kept under detention. They did not even meet the traders,” he added.

“When we do not meet people, there is criticism that we are isolating Jammu and Kashmir. And when we do, then also eyebrows are raised,” NDTV quoted BJP leader as saying.

The Narendra Modi government, he added, is interested in reaching out and hearing the “concerns and problems of the people”.


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