Satya Pal Malik's reaction comes in the backdrop of J&K administration's stand not to allow a delegation of Opposition leaders led by Gandhi to enter Srinagar on Saturday. The leaders were sent back to Delhi from Srinagar airport on grounds that their visit may create a problem in the process to restore normalcy in the border state following the scrapping of Article 370.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Monday slammed former Congress president Rahul Gandhi for politicising the Kashmir issue and his stand on the matter. Speaking to news agency ANI, Malik said that Rahul has made his invitation to visit Jammu and Kashmir an “unending issue”.
Malik’s reaction comes in the backdrop of J&K administration’s stand not to allow a delegation of Opposition leaders led by Gandhi to enter Srinagar on Saturday. The leaders were sent back to Delhi from Srinagar airport on grounds that their visit may create a problem in the process to restore normalcy in the border state following the scrapping of Article 370.
“Rahul Gandhi has made my invitation an unending business. I had said if you don’t believe us then come and visit, later he said I will meet people under house arrest, will meet Army. I said I can’t accept these conditions and leave it to administration,” he said, adding that the administration denied him permission.
Earlier this month, Malik and Rahul had exchanged barbs over the ground situation in Kashmir. Rahul had cited some media reports to claim deterioration in law and order situation in the Valley and massive protests against the government following the scrapping of Article 370 from the state and the decision to bifurcate it into two Union Territories.
Later, Malik had invited Rahul to visit the state to take first-hand stock of the situation as he rubbished all allegations. However, Rahul said that he will visit the Valley along with a delegation of opposition leaders and wanted “freedom” to meet the locals and Army. To this, Malik said that he had not invited Rahul with pre-conditions and referred the matter to the administration.
On Saturday, Rahul and a delegation of opposition leaders attempted to visit the Valley but they were sent back from the Srinagar airport. A day later, Rahul said on his official Twitter handle that opposition leaders and the press got a taste of the “draconian administration” and “brute force” unleashed on the people of the state when they tried to visit Srinagar.
“It’s been 20 days since the people of Jammu & Kashmir had their freedom and civil liberties curtailed,” Gandhi said in a tweet.
“Leaders of the Opposition and the Press got a taste of the draconian administration and brute force unleashed on the people of J&K when we tried to visit Srinagar yesterday,” he said.
He also shared a video of Saturday’s event on his Twitter page, showing how authorities read out an order to the opposition leaders. The video also showed Rahul speaking to the media and alleging that media persons accompanying the delegation were mishandled and beaten up. He said that it is clear that things are “not normal” in Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, Malik claimed that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir was fully under control and promised to make the state an ideal place to live. He assured that things will change and would be visible in the coming days.
“We will work so much for the people of Kashmir, and create such circumstances, that people of PoK will start saying- see, that (Jammu&Kashmir) is the ideal place to live,” he said.