Rahul takes a dig at ‘outsiders’, bats for restoration of statehood
Addressing a gathering at Satwari area of Jammu, Rahul said there is no bigger issue than the statehood of J&K.
SRINAGAR: The Congress would use all its force to restore statehood of Jammu and Kashmir, Rahul Gandhi said on Monday as his Bharat Jodo Yatra entered the Jammu city. He also said that people are complaining that J&K is being run by outsiders, and asked Lt Governor Manoj Sinha to apologise to Kashmiri Pandits for telling them not to “beg”. Rahul resumed the yatra from the Vijapur area of Samba amid tight security measures. A delegation of Kashmiri Pandit employees met Rahul during the yatra and apprised him about their issues.
In the afternoon, the yatra entered the Jammu city amid heightened security measures after two bomb blasts had taken place in the Narwal area of Jammu city a few days back. Addressing a gathering at Satwari area of Jammu, Rahul said there is no bigger issue than the statehood of J&K.
“Your entire rights have been snatched by the government,” he said and asserted that Congress will support restoration of J&K’s statehood and his party would use its full power for restoration of J&K’s statehood.
Without talking of Article 370 or 35A, Rahul said, “People from different sections of the society walk with me during the yatra. They told me that earlier business in Jammu was done by Jammu people, but now, the entire trade is being done by outsiders. They also said that J&K was run by J&K people earlier, but now it is being run by outsiders”.
He pointed out people complained that the administration is not hearing them. Rahul alleged that Kashmiri Pandits are facing injustice at the hands of the government. “A delegation of Kashmiri Pandits met me. They said when their delegation met Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, he told them that they should not beg. They (KPs) are not begging but demanding their rights. The Lt Governor should apologise to them for his remarks,” he said.
About 5000 PM package Pandit employees have been on a strike since May 12 last year after a Pandit employee was shot dead by militants in central Kashmir. They are demanding relocation to Jammu and allege that authorities have withheld their salaries. Rahul said J&K has the highest level of unemployment in the country. He alleged that it is rising because the central government is only working for 2-3 industrialists.