October 29, 2019 11:57:13 am
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra Tuesday criticised the Centre for allowing a 27-member delegation of European Union MPs to visit Jammu and Kashmir but denying Indian leaders permission to do the same. She said it was “such unique nationalism”, as the delegation left New Delhi for J&K this morning.
Taking to Twitter, Gandhi said, “Allowing European MPs to travel and intervene in Kashmir while returning Indian MPs and leaders from the airport itself. Such unique nationalism it is.”
On Monday, the Opposition had targeted the Centre for allowing the EU delegation to visit Jammu and Kashmir while denying permission to an all-party delegation which wanted to interact with people in the Valley.
Congress leader Anand Sharma, also chairman of the Standing Committee on Home Ministry, told The Indian Express: “This is the ultimate disrespect to Indian Parliament and breach of our privileges. When we, as an all-party delegation, leaders of the Opposition parties and MPs, went to Srinagar… we were detained at the airport itself and never allowed to even step out or meet any Kashmiri. Our privileges were violated. And until this day, the government has not briefed Parliament. Even the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs has not been briefed till date… But the government prefers briefing EU MPs. This stand of the government is self-defeating and contradicts our consistent position that J&K is India’s internal matter.”
CPM’s Sitaram Yechury, too, attacked the government. “Why were Indian political party leaders and MPs repeatedly prevented from exiting Srinagar airport? I was allowed to enter Srinagar only when the Supreme Court permitted over my habeas corpus petition. Even today, Indian MPs are not allowed while Modi welcomes MEPs!” he tweeted.
The EU leaders’ visit was finalised after they met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence Monday, and were briefed separately by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
The Prime Minister, while welcoming the delegation to India, “expressed the hope that they have a fruitful visit to various parts of the country, including to Jammu and Kashmir,” a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office said.
Sources in the European Union mission in New Delhi told The Indian Express the leaders were not an official delegation of the EU but were travelling to the state in their personal capacity.
Interestingly, 22 of the 27 MPs represent the right-wing or far-right parties in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia.
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