New Delhi: Hours after BJP leader Subramanian Swamy and Congress leader Anand Sharma slammed the Centre for its decision to allow members of the European Union Parliament to visit Kashmir, 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.
The statement from the Congress MP comes as the Congress earlier in the day slammed the Centre for allowing the European Union delegation to visit Kashmir at this sensitive time.
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.
Earlier in the day, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy slammed the decision to allow a delegation of Members of the European Union Parliament to visit Kashmir and demanded its cancellation.
Describing the Centre’s move as a ‘perversion’ of the country’s policy, Swamy in a tweet said he was surprised to know that the MEA has arranged for European Union MPs to visit Jammu and Kashmir.
‘I am surprised that the MEA has arranged for European Union MPs, in their private capacity [Not EU’s official delegation], to visit Kashmir area of J&K. This is a perversion of our national policy. I urge the Government cancel this visit because it is immoral,” he said.
The statements of criticism came after a delegation of the Members of the European Union Parliament met Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier in the day and sources at the government told ANI that the European Union delegation would be visiting Kashmir on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, European Parliament member BN Dunn also confirmed that a 28-member delegation of European parliamentarians, including him, is visiting Kashmir on Tuesday to check the ground reality. He said all he wants is normalcy and peace for everyone in the valley.
“Yes we are going there (J&K) on Tuesday. The Prime Minister explained to us about it (abrogation of Article 370), but I want to see on the ground how it actually is and talk to some local people. What we all want is normalcy and peace for everyone,” BN Dunn, member of European Parliament, said.
The EU delegation would be visiting the Valley at a time when suspected militants are targeting non-Kashmiris, including truck drivers, manual workers and apple traders. Earlier in the day, over 20 civilians were injured when suspected terrorists hurled grenade near a bus stop in Sopore area of Jammu and Kashmir.