Jammu and Kashmir Governor's invitation to Rahul Gandhi a tool of propaganda: P Chidambaram

Updated: Aug 14, 2019, 11:09 IST | mid-day online correspondent |

Governor Satya Pal Malik had earlier accused Rahul Gandhi of bringing a delegation of opposition leaders and creating further political unrest for the common people'

A deserted view of a street during restrictions, in Srinagar. Pic/PTI
A deserted view of a street during restrictions, in Srinagar. Pic/PTI

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram hit out at Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday saying that his invitation to Rahul Gandhi to visit the Valley was never a sincere one but just a tool of propaganda.

The former finance minister's response comes a day after Malik reportedly accused Rahul Gandhi of "politicising" his invitation to him by seeking to bring a delegation of opposition leaders to the region to create "further unrest and problems for the common people".

"Rahul Gandhi is politicising the matter by seeking to bring a delegation of opposition leaders to create further unrest and problems for the common people. He has put forth many conditions for visiting Jammu and Kashmir, including meeting mainstream leaders under detention. As Governor had never invited him with so many pre-conditions, he has referred the case to the local police and administration to examine the request further," the statement said.

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Reacting to this allegation, Chidambaram asserted the fact that Rahul had put conditions is "rubbish" as he asked for freedom to meet everyone, including soldiers. "How is that putting conditions? Can a visitor not ask for freedom to meet different sections of the people and to enquire about the welfare of the soldiers?" the senior Congress leader asked in a chain of tweets.

After the abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, Gandhi last week had said that certain reports surfaced of violence and people being killed in Jammu and Kashmir. He also called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to transparently tell the country about the situation and assuage people, following which the governor offered a plane to him to visit the Valley to review the situation.

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The former Congress chief had retaliated to Malik’s remark, tweeting, "Dear Governor Malik, A delegation of opposition leaders and I will take you up on your gracious invitation to visit Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. We won't need an aircraft but please ensure us the freedom to travel and meet the people, mainstream leaders, and our soldiers stationed over there."

Security was reportedly beefed up as the Centre withdrew special status to Jammu and Kashmir and passed the Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganization) Act 2019, bifurcating the state into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir with legislature and Ladakh without it.

With inputs from PTI

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