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Have a tinge of Kashmiriyat in me: Rahul on first visit to J&K in 2 years | India News

SRINAGAR: Almost two years after being forced to turn back from Srinagar airport amid an unprecedented lockdown in J&K, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday used his first visit to the Union Territory since the nullification of Article 370 to invoke his “Kashmiriyat” and make a strong pitch for restoration of statehood and democracy.
Rahul, who arrived here on Monday evening, said J&K was facing “a direct assault from New Delhi”, unlike Tamil Nadu, Bengal and other states where the Centre was allegedly settling scores indirectly.
“If you show your hatred for the people of Kashmir, nothing can be achieved,” the former Congress president said at the J&K Congress headquarters. “Today, my family lives in Delhi. Before that, they were living in Allahabad, and (even) before that, they were living in Kashmir. So I have inherited a tinge of Kashmiriyat that still lies inside of me.”
Rahul said his fight was primarily against PM Narendra Modi‘s “policy of dividing India” and would continue on that path till he won.
On Congress veteran and ex-CM Ghulam Nabi Azad’s suggestion to press for a bill in Parliament to restore J&K’s statehood, Rahul said, “I am not allowed to speak in Parliament. I can’t speak about Rafale, unemployment or corruption. They (BJP) have attacked the judiciary, the Lok Sabha…even the media stands muzzled. Journalists can’t write what they want to.”
Rahul claimed that when there was a Congress government in J&K, welfare schemes like the Udaan skill development programme were launched and panchayat polls were held. “We brought experts to Kashmir University and sent Kashmiri youth to other states of India. But they (BJP) attacked this process, too.”
Rahul paid obeisance at the Mata Kheer Bhawani temple in the Tulmulla area of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district earlier in the day along with a few other Congress functionaries, including Azad. One of his first scheduled engagements during the two-day visit was the wedding of PCC chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir’s son. Lt governor Manoj Sinha and Srinagar MP Farooq Abdullah were at the reception around the same time, sources said.
Rahul said he would return to J&K soon and pack in a visit to Jammu and Ladakh.
The Wayanad MP’s previous visit, albeit an aborted one, was as part of an opposition delegation that landed at Srinagar airport on August 24, 2019.

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