New Delhi: As a war of words continued between Rahul Gandhi and J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik, the former Congress chief on Wednesday said that he accepts the governor’s invitation to visit the Valley and meet the people, with “no conditions attached”. He asked the governor when he can come to visit Jammu and Kashmir.
In a sharp retort to the governor, Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “Dear Maalik ji, I saw your feeble reply to my tweet. I accept your invitation to visit Jammu & Kashmir and meet the people, with no conditions attached. When can I come?”
On Tuesday, the governor’s office lashed at Gandhi for ‘spreading fake news’ regarding the prevailing situation in the Valley. It also accused Gandhi of ‘politicising the matter’ by ‘seeking to bring a delegation of Opposition leaders to create further unrest and problems for the common people’. Earlier in the same day, Gandhi, while reacting sharply to Malik’s offer of visit to J&K, had said, “The delegation of Opposition leaders won’t need aircraft but please ensure our freedom to travel and meet people, mainstream leaders and our soldiers stationed there.”
“I have invited Rahul Gandhi to come here. I will send you a plane, to observe (the situation) and then speak. You are a responsible person and you should not speak like this,” Malik had said while reacting to a question about statements and reports by some leaders and the media about the violence in Kashmir.
Previously, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad was stopped at the Srinagar Airport and deported back to the national capital.
Meanwhile, security has been stepped up in the Valley and movement further restricted ahead of Independence Day on Thursday, even as the government has claimed that restrictions imposed after the repeal of Article 370 would be a removed in a ‘phased manner’.
There has been lockdown in J&K since the Centre revoked Article 370 that pertained to the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and decided to bifurcate it into two Union Territories.