‘Unique nationalism’: Priyanka Gandhi hits out at Centre over EU parliamentarians’ visiting Kashmir

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Published: October 29, 2019 5:00:37 PM

Jammu and Kashmir has been under restrictions since the government abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

A convoy of vehicles carrying European Union lawmakers is seen after they arrived in Srinagar. (Reuters)

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra criticised the government on Tuesday for allowing a delegation of European Union lawmakers to visit Jammu and Kashmir, but denying permission to Indian politicians to do the same. A 23-member delegation of EU MPs is on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir to assess the situation in the region after the revocation of Article 370, the amendment in the Indian Constitution that granted special status to J&K.

“In Kashmir, European MPs have the permission to roam around and intervene, but Indian MPs and leaders were sent back as soon as they landed at the airport. This is unique nationalism,” Priyanka Gandhi tweted in Hindi.

The EU delegation arrived in Srinagar on Tuesday afternoon. They will be briefed by government officials on the current situation in the region. They will also interact with a cross-section of people. The delegation consists of parliamentarians from extreme right or right wing parties, reports said.

A number of Opposition leaders have blasted the Narendra Modi-led government for denying permission to Indian leaders. Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday said that there was something wrong with the government welcoming MPs from Europe while banning Indian MPs. “MPs from Europe are welcome to go on a guided tour of Jammu and Kashmir while Indian MPs are banned and denied entry. There is something very wrong with that,” Gandhi said in a tweet.

Two months ago, a delegation consisting of Rahul Gandhi and other Opposition leaders had been turned back from Srinagar airport when they tried to visit Jammu and Kashmir. Then J&K governor Satya Pal Malik had advised the leaders against doing politics on the matter and keep national interest at heart.

Jammu and Kashmir has been under restrictions since the government abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The visit of EU parliamentarians is the first high-level foreign delegation visiting Jammu and Kashmir since these two bills were passed.

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