UNION HOME Minister and BJP president Amit Shah on Friday slammed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his party “taking up India’s internal matters with foreign leaders” a day after a delegation of the Indian Overseas Congress’s UK unit met Britain’s Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and discussed the situation in Kashmir.
Addressing election rallies in Chikli (Buldhana) and Karanja (Washim), Shah said, “Overseas Congress chief Kamal Dhaliwal, who is close to Rahul Gandhi, met Jeremy Corbyn and raised a human rights issue and complained that the situation is not normal in Kashmir.”
He said, “I would like to ask Rahul Gandhi, ‘What does your party want to do by raising internal matter of Kashmir with foreign leaders?’ In the past, former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru placed the Kashmir issue before the United Nations, (and) now we have Rahul Gandhi taking up the Kashmir issue with the UK.”
Shah said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has “sternly conveyed” that “no one has the right to interfere in matters of Kashmir; and that every issue related to Kashmir will be decided by Indian Parliament”.
On Thursday, after the meeting in London, the Congress had, in New Delhi, distanced itself from the event and condemned the Overseas Congress. Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma had said, “We are shocked by this misrepresentation and unauthorised statement…. The delegation which met, or for that matter any committee or chapter of the Indian Overseas Congress, has neither the mandate nor authorisation to speak on any matter which pertains to policies or India’s domestic issues…any issue pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir are purely India’s internal affairs…. We disown any such claim. I am conveying this to the leader of Labour Party.”
At Friday’s rallies, Shah spoke about the Union government’s decision to withdraw special status accorded to J&K under Indian Constitution and urged the people to ask Congress and NCP leaders why they opposed scrapping of Article 370. “Whose interests were they serving by retaining special status in the Valley,” he asked.
He asserted that the decision has helped remove the biggest hurdle and made Kashmir an integral part of India.
Shah also assured people that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) will be strictly enforced across the country to get rid of infiltrators. “2024 tak ek ek ko, chun chun kar nikaalne ka kaam karenge (by 2024, we will identity each infiltrator and drive them out),” Shah said, referring to the next elections.
The choice before the people in the Assembly polls is the Congress-NCP alliance and the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance, he said and added that while the former is in politics to serve their own families, the BJP-led alliance is working for the country.
“The NCP is a party of Sharad Pawar, Ajit Pawar, Surpriya Sule and now even their children and nephews are in politics, Shah said. “Now I would like to ask Sharadrao (Pawar): is there no talent beyond family members in the party?”