New Delhi: The latest to join the bandwagon of Congress leaders to slam the Centre for allowing the EU delegation to visit Kashmir on Tuesday is party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad. The Congress leader said he does not have any objection to the European Union Parliament delegation visiting Jammu and Kashmir but what his objection is MPs of this country are not being allowed to visit the place at this sensitive time. Also Read - EU Delegation in Kashmir: 'Why MPs of This Country Not Allowed to Visit J&K,' Asks Ghulam Nabi Azad
“I don’t have an objection to the European Union Parliament delegation visiting Jammu and Kashmir. What I object to, is that the MPs of this country are not being allowed to go to Jammu and Kashmir,” Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said. Also Read - EU Delegation to Visit Kashmir Today Amid Growing Global Concerns Post Abrogation of Article 370
His statement comes after a host of other Congress leaders voiced their concern over the Centre’s decision to allow the 28-member delegation of the European Union to visit the Valley.
On October 28, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi slammed the Centre and said that there is something very wrong with the Centre’s decision to allow a European Union (EU) delegation to visit the valley.
“MPs from Europe are welcome to go on a guided tour of Jammu and Kashmir while Indian MPs are banned and denied entry. There is something very wrong with that,” Rahul had said in a tweet.
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh also criticized the Centre for sending the EU delegation to Jammu and Kashmir and said the decision is an outright insult to India’s own Parliament and democracy.
“When Indian political leaders have been prevented from meeting the people of J-K, what possessed the great chest-beating champion of nationalism to allow European politicians to visit J-K. This is an outright insult to India’s own Parliament and our democracy,” former Union minister Jairam Ramesh said in a tweet.
Prior to this, Congress leader Anand Sharma said the delegation’s visit to the Valley is disrespect to the sovereignty of Indian Parliament. He went on to say that the Central government must answer why it violated the Parliamentary privilege.
Being the chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee, he alleged that even committee was not briefed on this.
“This is disrespect to the sovereignty of the Indian Parliament. The government must answer why it violated parliamentary privileges. The committee was not briefed on this,” Anand Sharma alleged.
Late in the night on October 28, Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram Shashi Tharoor said the Central government allowed a foreign delegation to visit the Valley at a time when his request to allow an all-party delegation to visit the place was not granted. He went on to say that it is an insult to the democracy of the nation.
“My request, made during the LokSabha debate on Article 370, for an All-Party delegation of MPs to visit to see the situation for themselves, has still not been accepted. But members of the European Parliament can travel as our government’s guests? What an #InsultToIndianDemocracy!,” he said in a tweet.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala also questioned the Centre’s decision to allow the EU parliamentarians to visit J-K and said that it goes against the official stand that Kashmir is an internal matter of India.
“MPs from other countries are allowed to go to Kashmir, why are not our MPs? This is the Modi government’s fake nationalism and an insult to the parliament!” he said on Twitter in Hindi.
The statements of criticism from the Congress started pouring in after a delegation of the Members of the European Union Parliament on Monday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visited Kashmir on Tuesday.
Notably, the EU delegation is visiting the Valley at a time when suspected militants are targeting non-Kashmiris, including truck drivers, manual workers and apple traders. On Monday, over 20 civilians were injured when suspected terrorists hurled grenade near a bus stop in Sopore area of Jammu and Kashmir.