Opposition leaders to visit Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, Rahul Gandhi likely to join

The sources said top Congress leaders who will visit Srinagar are Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma.

Published: 23rd August 2019 09:26 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th August 2019 09:08 AM   |  A+A-

Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi

Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Congress MP Rahul Gandhi is likely to lead a delegation of opposition leaders to Srinagar on Saturday.

However, it appears unlikely that the delegation, also featuring top leaders of the CPI-M, CPI, RJD, NCP, TMC and DMK, would be allowed to step inside the newly carved out Union Territory, as the administration on Friday said no attempt should be made to disrupt the restoration of normal life in the Valley since the scrapping of Article 370.

Sources said CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI’s D Raja, DMK’s Tiruchi Siva, RJD’s Manoj Jha and Dinesh Trivedi of NCP will also be part of the delegation.

They said the leaders will also visit some other parts of the state, if allowed to enter.

READ| Students' Association writes to Modi, Shah as Kashmiris outside Valley unable to pay fees

“Our main purpose is to spread the word on the plight of the people living there across the country. The Kashmiris believe that the rest of the country isn’t aware of the actual situation there,” an Opposition leader, who will be part of the delegation, said.

Senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma would accompany Rahul to the Valley. Azad has already been stopped twice from visiting the state after the rollback of the special status.

The former Congress president, who was invited to visit the Valley by Governor Satya Pal Malik after he raised concerns over the situation there, said he hoped the delegation would be allowed to meet people and leaders who have been detained in the wake of withdrawal of Article 370.

The administration on Friday issued a statement, saying, “Attempts should not be made by senior political leaders to disturb the gradual restoration of normal life. Political leaders are requested to cooperate and not visit Srinagar as they would be putting other people to inconvenience.”

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