A high-level “policy planning group” of the Congress led by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is arriving on a two day visit to Kashmir on Saturday and will meet around 50 delegations representing various social, political, religious and other groups.
The Congress leadership claims that those meeting the group members are “real people” who will discuss genuine issues, and not the “engineered groups” constituted by the government that met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who visited the Valley on September 9 and 10, before spending two days in Jammu region.
Tariq Hammed Karra, the former Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar constituency who joined the Congress after parting ways with the PDP, told The Indian Express that there had been several meetings with party members in New Delhi before the policy group began its visit. “It is an exercise of hand-holding…. Since the NDA came to power in J&K, there has been a perception in Kashmir, and in Muslim areas of Jammu, that Muslims are being pushed to the wall. This is an attempt from the Congress at giving moral and political support to the people.’’
The Congress group has already visited Jammu and held discussions with dozens of delegations from different parts of the region and is slated to visit Ladakh region in the coming weeks, the party said Friday. Led by Manmohan Singh, the Congress delegation comprises Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Union minister P Chidambaram, Congress party’s J&K in-charge Ambika Soni, and Rajya Sabha member Karan Singh.