Why did Centre stop Indian MPs from visiting J-K, asks Opposition
The Opposition on Monday hit out at the government for facilitating the travel of a delegation of lawmakers of the European Union to Jammu and Kashmir, while the region remained out of bounds for most Indian leaders.
On August 24, a delegation of prominent Opposition leaders were not allowed to enter the region after landing in Srinagar airport. Senior Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and KC Venugopal were part of the panel. It also included Communist Party of India’s Sitaram Yechury, Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s Tiruchi Siva, Janata Dal (Secular) leader D Kupendra Reddy, Trinamool Congress’s Dinesh Trivedi, Nationalist Congress Party’s Mehmood Memon, and the Communist Party of India-Marxist’s D Raja.
The BJP’s Nalin S Kohli said, “The abrogation of Article 370 was the elimination of a temporary provision of the Indian constitution and the government of India under PM Modi has successfully, both diplomatically and strategically, countered Pakistan’s narrative of falsehoods. The visit may also be seen from this perspective. If the government of India, at any point, decides to put out information in public domain, then it will continue to do so.”
But Sharma said the government rolling out the red carpet for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to brief and invite them to visit J&K was “a disrespect to the sovereignty of the Indian Parliament and the violation of the privileges of Indian MPs”. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “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.”
Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh tweeted that the move to take MEPs was an insult to the Indian Parliament. “When Indian political leaders have been prevented from meeting the people of J&K, what possessed the great chest-beating champion of nationalism to allow European politicians to visit J&K?...”
Yechury questioned the move and tweeted: “I was allowed to enter Srinagar only when the Supreme Court permitted my... petition. Even today Indian MPs are not allowed while Modi welcomes MEPs.”
RJD’s Manoj Jha said: “Doesn’t it sound bizarre that the government does not allow its own Opposition leaders but has no issue with foreign leaders landing in J&K...”