J&K under ‘direct assault’ from New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi demands restoration of full statehood to J&K

He said he was fighting against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his policies of 'dividing India'

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. Credit: PTI Photo

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday demanded the restoration of full statehood for Jammu and Kashmir, along with free and fair elections.

“Congress party’s stand on J&K is clear. We want full statehood to be restored along with free, fair and transparent Assembly polls at the earliest,” he said while addressing party workers at J&K Congress headquarters in Srinagar.

Gandhi, who arrived on a two-day visit to J&K on Monday, said that he was fighting against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his policies of “dividing India.”

“There is not only assault on J&K, but in other parts of the country like Tamil Nadu and Bengal also. But one thing is clear that J&K is under direct assault from New Delhi while other parts are facing an indirect attack,” the Congress leader alleged.

Trying to connect with the people of J&K, the Gandhi scion said he can feel the pain of people of the union territory (UT). “I am with you to build a relationship based on love and honour,” he said and vowed to continue his fight against Modi’s ideology and “violence he is preaching beside his mission of breaking India.”

Responding to senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad’s suggestion to move a bill in the Lok Sabha to press for the restoration of statehood for J&K, Gandhi said that he was not even allowed to speak in the Parliament.

“I can’t speak about Rafale, unemployment and corruption. They (BJP) have attacked the judiciary, Lok Sabha and even the voice of media stands muzzled,” he alleged.

Earlier the Congress leader visited the Kheer Bhawani temple in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district and the Hazratbal shrine, here. Reports said Gandhi spent over half an hour at the temple and offered prayers.

He was also seen sharing a table with regional National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and former Sadr-e-Riyasat of Jammu and Kashmir Karan Singh during a dinner hosted by J&K Congress President Ghulam Ahmad Mir at his son’s wedding on Monday evening.

This is Gandhi’s first visit to J&K after the abrogation of J&K’s special status under Article 370 on August 5, 2019. He had tried to visit Kashmir to assess the situation in August 2019 but was sent back from Srinagar Airport to Delhi along with other leaders including Azad.