‘Why Amit Shah doesn’t walk from Jammu to Kashmir’: Rahul throws challenge to BJP

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, January 29: After unfurling the national flag at Lal Chowk in Srinagar, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi challenged Union Minister for Home Affairs to walk from Jammu to Kashmir. On repeated questions over the stand of Congress on restoration of Article 370, Gandhi stuck with the line that for him restoration of Assembly and democratic process is the first approach.

“If the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is so peaceful, then why doesn’t Amit Shah walk from Jammu to Kashmir,” asked Gandhi, while interacting with reporters during a presser in which he was asked to respond to the claims of the Jammu and Kashmir administration that the situation is peaceful in the valley. He also said that a solution be also found for Ladakh.

To repeated questions that restrictive measures have been taken in the valley, Gandhi charged that the situation is same across the country. “I am a Lok Sabha MP, but I cannot speak in Parliament. I want to speak on GST in Lok Sabha; you cannot,” said Gandhi. On rules enacted by the Union Territory administration, Gandhi stressed that restoration of democratic process should be the first step, while he sought to underline an emotion connect with the valley as he said that his forefathers descended to Allahabad, while he felt it was a homecoming when he walked into Kashmir.

He also charged that over 2000 square miles of land has gone into the possession of China. “Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) is the only person in India who says that not an inch of land has been occupied by China. Recently, a number of ex-Army personnel met me, besides people from Ladakh. They all told that 2000 square miles of land has been occupied by China. Patrolling points which were in the Indian possession earlier have gone into the hands of China,” alleged Gandhi. He also said that “the denial by the government is actually helping the Chinese designs on the line of actual control (LAC)”.

Gandhi also dismissed suggestions that the Opposition ranks remain divided, arguing that the ideology against the BJP-RSS unites them all. He didn’t commit to the next course of action, as ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ concludes, but stressed that he would work on a few ideas gathered during the Kanyakumari-Srinagar walk. “As a political class, I have a feeling that there is a distance between us and the people, while communication is going through the media. I shall be doing more in the near future to bridge the gap with the people,” said Gandhi.

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