Kashmir in LS: Govt under attack

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NEW DELHI: The Modi government and PDP-BJP dispensation of Jammu and Kashmir today came under attack in the Lok Sabha over the unrest in the Valley, with opposition alleging their failure to address the situation and pressing for a political solution. 

As the House took up a discussion on the ongoing trouble in Kashmir, various parties demanded sending an all-party delegation to the Valley even as Anurag Thakur, speaking on behalf of the ruling BJP, said every political party should come together and help in dealing with such situations.

 Initiating the debate, Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said over the last two years, since the BJP government came to power at the Centre, the situation in the Valley has “deteriorated” and has become “disappointing”. 

Alleging failure on part of the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir government, he said, “The work done by our government in the last 10 years was undone by this government. They see everything from the rear mirror. BJP-PDP has shunned all principles…We have to heal the wounds with humanity.” 

The government is claiming that it is moving in ever sector but reality is different. 

“This government has miserably failed to restore peace in the valley. There is an environment of insecurity and fear ….44 people have died and 3140, half of them security personnel, are wounded and this government puts the onus on the state….I would like to ask questions. How many more deaths will happen? When they will get up from sleep,” he said. 

Scindia said the people of Kashmir are facing huge problems as there is curfew since the last 12 days. 

“What was the reason? Why no one from the central government visited Kashmir to review the situation… Infiltration is happening and our Defence Minister is distributing LED bulbs in Goa,” he said.

Citing the case of a boy and a girl who had allegedly 

gone blind due to pellet gun use by security forces, Scindia said “this government uses lethal weapons against innocent people.” 

While attacking the government, the Congress leader alleged that there was an “environment of communalism” and “intolerance” in the country and referred to incidents like Dadri lynching and Hyderabad University issue. 

He said people making non-responsible statements and the government is not taking any action against them. 

The Congress leader said Pakistan “is guilty” for this situation in Kashmir but “one should also introspect if there are some shortcomings in us also.” 

He said Modi has condoled the attacks in other parts of the world but never said even a single word on Kashmir. 

He said the government should secure the country’s borders. “I request this govenment. Secure our borders. Secure our people before it gets too late. Act and act with a plan,” he said. 

He said after returning from Africa visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called a high level meeting but the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister was not present. 

He questioned whether this was the “cooperative federalism” that this government keeps talking about. 

The UPA government had taken several steps and worked with all the stakeholders to maintain the peaceful environment and boost development of Kashmir but since this government came into the power, the GDP of the valley has declined by 7 per cent. 

He said incidents of infiltration and casuality of soldiers is on the rise and this government is behaving like a “silent spectator”. 

During the discussion, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju intervened and said the Congress leader should not mislead the House with “wrong facts”. 

Scindia said the Pakistan policy of this government is “surprising”. 

“They (BJP) claimed that they would bring 10 heads (of Pakistanis) in case of one death…But today you are giving statements,” he said. 

Events In Kashmir Tragic, Pose Grave Danger: Sonia 

Congress President Sonia Gandhi today slammed the Narendra Modi government over the unrest in Kashmir, saying the recent events there pose a “grave danger” to the country.

She said that former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government had done tremendous amount of good work in the Valley but that was “no longer the case”.

“Recent events in the Valley are tragic and pose a grave danger to the country. There can be no compromise on national security. Militants must be dealt with firmly. Yet we must ask ourselves, what has driven scores of young people to such levels of violence,” she said addressing the first meeting of Congress Parliamentary Party in the ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament.

“Can we say in all honesty that we have responded with sincerity to their pleas,” Mrs Gandhi asked.

Kashmir has witnessed turmoil for the past 11 days after the killing Hizbul commander Burhan Wani with clashes claiming over 40 lives.

Mrs Gandhi said the loss of life and suffering of “our brothers and sisters, whether they are civilian or of the armed forces, is a source of deep anguish”.

“They are our people, we cannot forsake them,” she said. Lauding the UPA’s role in handling issues related to Kashmir, she said, “Dr Manmohan Singh’s government had done a tremendous amount of good work, along with a serious effort to open and sustain a dialogue. Sadly, this is no longer the case.”

“We must respond with restraint and sensitivity to the harsh realities of recent months. Not doing so is fraught with dangerous long-term consequences. Our party’s position is clear and consistent: while borders cannot be redrawn, much can and must be done within the framework of our Constitution,” she said.

Attacking the government on imposition of President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Mrs Gandhi said, “On the one hand the Prime Minister claims the Constitution to be sacred for his government. On the other, he has no compunction in trampling upon it, first in Arunachal Pradesh and then in Uttarakhand.”

“Fortunately, an independent and fearless judiciary has reminded him about Constitutional norms and values,” she said, adding that “we cannot afford to be complacent since similar tactics are still being attempted in other Congress-ruled states”.

She termed as “deplorable”, government’s inaction in helping farmers affected by acute drought despite Supreme Court’s intervention.

“The widespread distress in rural areas seems to be of no concern to the Modi government,” she charged, adding the government was starving funds to Panchayati Raj Ministry created by UPA which was “slowly being driven into extinction”.

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