The opposition leaders red-flagged the foreign delegation's visit on grounds that it was allowed even as the opposition leaders are still denied entry into the state.
EU Parliamentarians visit Kashmir: The central government has come under fire from the opposition parties for allowing a delegation of parliamentarians from the European Union to visit Kashmir. Parties such as the Congress, National Conference, Left, and BSP have questioned the Centre’s move to allow leaders who are on an ‘unofficial visit’ to ‘intervene’ in the country’s internal matter and called it a public relation exercise. The leaders also red-flagged the foreign delegation’s visit on grounds that it was allowed even as the opposition leaders are still denied entry into the state.
A delegation of 23 European Union MPs on Tuesday reached Kashmir for a first-hand assessment of the situation on the ground in the state that has been under restrictions since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5.
Here’s how the opposition reacted to EU delegation’s visit to Kashmir
Indian MPs are banned, Europe MPs are welcome: Rahul Gandhi
Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi said that there was something wrong with the decision as the Indian lawmakers are not allowed but a foreign delegation is being given a guided tour of Kashmir. “MPs from Europe are welcome to go on a guided tour of Jammu & Kashmir while Indian MPs are banned & denied entry. There is something very wrong with that,” he said.
Unique nationalism: Priyanka Gandhi
His sister and Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi made similar remarks and said that the European MPs were allowed to visit and “interfere”, but Indian MPs and leaders were sent back from the airport as soon as they arrived. “This is a very unique nationalism,” she said.
Visiting EU MPs ultra-right-wing pro-fascist: Sitaram Yechury
CPI leader Sitaram Yechury said that the majority of visiting leaders were from ultra-right-wing pro-fascist parties having relations with BJP and this is why Prime Minister Narendra Modi allowed them to visit Kashmir. “This unofficial group is overwhelmingly from ultra-right-wing pro-fascist parties having relations with BJP. This explains why our MPs aren’t allowed but Modi welcomes them. 3 ex-CMs and 1000s others are jailed & this group of MEPs is preferred over Indian political parties?” he said. Yechury also said that it was an affront to the Indian Parliament and its sovereignty, that while Indian leaders are denied the freedom of visit the valley, reportedly some “private visit” by foreign MPs is facilitated.
Kashmir visit of EU delegation a ‘PR stunt’: NC
The National Conference called the EU delegation visit to Kashmir a “PR exercise”. In a statement, the Farooq Abdullah-led party said that the visit of the selected EU MPs, largely of a particular ideology, is clearly a public relation exercise. “It is ironical that European MPs are visiting the Valley when the state’s leaders including three former Chief Ministers, are incarcerated for nearly three months now, and hundreds of others are in jails across the country,” it said. The party further added that such “PR stunts” are not an answer to the unprecedented situation prevailing since August 5. NC chief Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah have been under detention for close to three months.
Islamophobes and Nazi lovers: Asaduddin Owaisi
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi too hit out at the government saying that leaders who suffer from Islamophobia are allowed to visit the Muslim majority Valley. He also wrote an Urdu couplet to express his disappointment with the government that according to him was generous with the foreign delegation but averse to its own people stepping out of their homes in the Valley. “Fantastic Choice of MEPs who suffer from a disease -Islamophobia (Nazi lovers) are going to Muslim majority Valley, sure people will welcome them by “Ware Paeth Khoshh Paeth” — Gairon pe karam apano pe sitam, ai jaan-e-vafaa ye zulm na kar, rahane de abhi thodaa saa dharam,” the parliamentarian said in a tweet.