Congress MP Ghulam Nabi Azad on Thursday took a swipe at National Security Advisor Ajit Doval after he was seen interacting with the residents of south Kashmir, saying “you can bring anyone on your side by paying money”. Doval was in Shopian district to discuss with the locals the government’s decision to abrogate provisions of Article 370 and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories.
“Paise dekar aap kisiko bhi saath le sakte ho (you can bring anyone on your side by paying money),” Azad told reporters.
#WATCH: Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress on pictures of National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval interacting with locals in Shopian yesterday: Paise dekar aap kisiko bhi saath le sakte ho. #JammuAndKashmir pic.twitter.com/iJgwezkeWb
— ANI (@ANI) August 8, 2019
The remarks by the leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha came a day after a video of Doval sharing food with locals on a footpath outside closed shops in Shopian district went viral on social media.
Hitting out at the Congress leader, the BJP later sought an apology, saying the remarks could be used by Pakistan on global forums.
Terming the comment “unfortunate”, BJP national spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said that such remarks were expected from the “people of Pakistan” and not from India’s “biggest political party”.
“Ghulam Nabi Azad’s comments are unfortunate. I condemn it strongly….when the NSA visits the state and meets and eats with the people of the area, the Congress says that we have paid them money?” he was quoted as saying by PTI.
“These accusations come from the people of Pakistan. This is not expected from a big political party like the Congress. How can you make these accusations? This statement will be used by Pakistan on global forums. He should immediately apologise for the comments,” he added.
Doval arrived in Kashmir on Tuesday, a day after the Centre revoked the provisions of Article 370, which gave special autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir. He is reaching out to the local population in the Valley as a confidence-building measure.
“Everything will be alright. Your safety and security is our responsibility,” Doval had told people in Shopian district.
Around 400 people, including three business leaders and a university professor, mainstream and separatist activists have been rounded up by police in the latest crackdown in Kashmir, officials had earlier told The Indian Express.
While Azad is all set to travel to Srinagar today, sources said he is expected to be sent back from the airport.