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Friday, September 17, 2021

‘I am a Kashmiri Pandit, feel your pain’: Rahul Gandhi promises help to community

The BJP hit back at Gandhi for accusing it and the RSS of "trying to break the composite culture of Jammu and Kashmir", alleging all the vexing issues of the region is the "legacy of the Gandhi family".

By: PTI | Jammu |
Updated: September 10, 2021 10:08:31 pm
Rahul Gandhi addressing party workers in Jammu. (Photo: Twitter/@INCIndia)

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday reached out to displaced Kashmiri Pandits, saying he and his family belong to this community, and promised them all help.

He also accused the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) of trying to break the composite culture of Jammu and Kashmir, and said both the organisations are “ruining” the love and brotherhood that exists among the people of the Union Territory.

“I told my Kashmiri Pandit brothers that I will show by helping you. I do not tell lies,” Gandhi said while addressing Congress office-bearers and workers at a party function here on the last day of his two-day visit to Jammu.

He said that he himself belongs to the Kashmiri Pandit community and feels their pain.

“Today morning, a delegation of Kashmiri Pandit brothers had come. When the members of the delegation were talking to me, it came to my mind that I am also a part of this community,” Gandhi said.

He said that his family belongs to the Kashmiri Pandit community.

Kashmiri Pandits were forced to flee from the Kashmir Valley to Jammu and other states in the early 90s soon after the outbreak of militancy in the region.

Taking a dig at BJP-led central government, Gandhi accused it of making false promises to migrant Kashmiri Pandits.

“A delegation of Kashmiri Pandits told me that a promise of providing Rs 25 lakh compensation has not been fulfilled yet. It was the Congress that announced the compensation for the Kashmiri Pandits,” he said.

The Congress leader said that whenever he comes to Jammu and Kashmir he feels at home.

“I had said in Srinagar that whenever I come to Jammu and Kashmir I feel that I have come home. Yesterday, I had gone to offer prayers at the Mata Vaishnodevi temple (in Reasi district) and I felt at home,” he said.

“Jammu and Kashmir, which was a state, but now is a Union Territory, has a very old relation with my family,” said Gandhi.

J-K issues Gandhi family’s legacy: BJP over Rahul Gandhi reaching out to displaced Kashmiri Pandits

The BJP Friday hit back at Rahul Gandhi for accusing it and the RSS of “trying to break the composite culture of Jammu and Kashmir”, alleging all the vexing issues of the region is the “legacy of the Gandhi family”.

BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra, in a press conference, alleged the Congress, for its petty vote bank politics, sacrificed not only the Kashmiri Pandits but also the development of the region.

Training his guns at the Gandhi scion, the BJP spokesperson dubbed him “immature and irresponsible”. He said, “The problems of Jammu and Kashmir are the legacy of the Gandhi family. It was Jawaharlal Nehru who was responsible for the problems of Kashmir.”

Astonishingly, Rahul Gandhi “very conveniently forgot that the woes of the Kashmiri Pandits were because of the politics of appeasement of Congress and like-minded parties”, Patra said.

On August 5, 2019, the Centre had abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated it into Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

On the first day of his visit to Jammu on Thursday, Gandhi had paid obeisance at the cave shrine of Mata Vaishnodevi after undertaking a 13-km-long foot yatra.

Last month, Gandhi had offered prayers at one of the biggest temples of Kashmiri Pandits — the Mata Kheerbhawani temple in Ganderbal district in the Kashmir Valley.

This is Gandhi’s second visit to Jammu and Kashmir in the last one month, and he has said that he will also go to Ladakh in the coming days.

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