Azad slams NDA over handling of J&K

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad. PTI Photo

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday slammed the BJP-led NDA government's handling of the Jammu and Kashmir issue saying even now political leaders and MPS and media were not allowed to visit the newly created union territory.

Azad, a former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, said even he could visit J&KK only with the permission of the Supreme Court, recalling his first visit after the Centre scrapped special status to it under Art 370. "This government has internationalised Kashmir issue, they don't allow their own MPs, media and NGOs and tell MPs of foreign countries to go. That too, right-wing MPs...," he told reporters.

If someone still says that the situation in J&K was alright, then "treatment is required" for such a person, he said asking the media to be alert about such people. "As long as BJP is there (in power), the situation would not improve," he claimed. Azad said the nation-wide protests announced by Congress from November 5 to 15 were against the 'wrong' policies of the NDA government and its 'failures'. After the protests, the Congress was thinking of organising a big meeting at the national level next month, he added.

The NDA government had failed to realise promises, including bringing back black money from foreign countries, creating two crore jobs every year and providing minimum support price and ensuring 50 per cent profit to the farmers, made by the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he alleged. Accusing the government of suppressing the report on unemployment by the National Sample Survey Organisation during parliament election, he said the country's economy was in poor shape as seen in the sharp fall in GDP, among other parametres. Other economic, including growth in manufacturing, exports, sales of passenger vehicles, have also witnessed a downward trend, he said.

The NDA government turned out to be anti-poor and anti-development and the former ended up hurting people instead of benefiting them, he claimed. The BJP was always in election mode, fighting various polls and "making people fight among themselves", he charged. Asked if Congress was in favour of exploring the possibility of government formation in Maharashtra, he said: "I am not in it. That's between the local leaders. It's not something we were very keen...".

The Congress leader condemned the ghastly killing of a woman Tahsildar who was burnt alive here on Monday and said tough punishment should be handed out to the culprit. He favoured enacting a law to deal with such incidents. On the ongoing strike by transport corporation employees in Telangana, he claimed Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had promised that they would be treated as government staff and should honour it.

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