New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday slammed the government over its decision to send 36 Union ministers to Jammu and Kashmir, asking what was the need to send “propagandists” if everything was “normal” there and wondered when would opposition leaders be allowed.
Taking a swipe at the government, the party said this is the first government which passes the laws first and then seeks support for it from the public.
A group of Union ministers will visit Jammu and Kashmir later this month to spread awareness about the positive impact of abrogation of provisions of Article 370 and the development measures taken by the government for the region. Their schedule is likely to be finalised at a meeting of the Union Council of Ministers on Friday.
“BJP government, in another propaganda exercise, has decided its time to explain the benefits of revoking Article 370 to Kashmiris. This is the first government that passes laws and then seeks support for it. When will the opposition leaders be allowed to visit Kashmir,” the Congress asked in a tweet on its official handle.
“Amit Shah says all is normal in Kashmir. If so, why send 36 propagandists to Kashmir? Why not allow non-propagandists to go and understand the situation prevailing there?” tweeted senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal.
Thirty-six Union ministers will visit different districts in both the divisions of the Union Territory starting from January 18 to January 24 and the Home Ministry is coordinating it.
“36 ministers running around J&K in 6 days is a sign of panic not normalcy. Abrogating Article 370 was a blunder & no quick fixes will work. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall; All the king’s horses and all the king’s men Couldn’t put Humpty together again,” tweeted Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari.
This will be the second round of visit by the Union ministers to Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of the special status of the erstwhile state on August 5.
Earlier this month, in one of the meetings of the council of ministers, a presentation was also been made on the development initiatives taken by the Centre following the imposition of the governor’s rule in the region.
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that by arranging visits of Union ministers to Jammu and Kashmir, the Centre has made a “third bid to spread lies” about situation there post abrogation of its special status. Azad, who is in Jammu on a two-day visit along with his party colleague Ambika Soni, said the Central ministers are coming to the Union Territory to celebrate Jammu and Kashmir’s “destruction”.
“This is a third attempt to mislead and misguide people of the world, J&K and India. They are coming here for a third time to tell lies,” Azad told reporters here.
Azad criticised the move. “Till today, they don’t know how to run the government. They have bitterly failed.”
He said that in the past, the government twice “misled and deceived” the people of the country and the world by conducting “guided tours” of Members of European Parliament (MEPs) and foreign envoys.
In order to influence the international media reportage on the “destruction” and situation in Kashmir, the government conducted tours of MEPs and then envoys to propagate their version of the story to the world, the Rajya Sabha member said.
Azad further said that by dividing J&K into two union territories, keeping politicians under house arrest, “destroying” trade, industry, tourism, business and transport, and banning political activities of opposition, the government has destroyed J&K.
“The chapter of destruction of J&K started with formations of UT,” he said.
He said that the political leaders from Kashmir who were called to New Delhi one by one and “tutored”, were presented before the envoys, but civil society, media and traders were disallowed to meet them and the previous delegation.
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