NC Questions Sitharaman’s Situation Remarks

Srinagar: The National Conference on Thursday objected to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman’s claims of a “changed ground situation” as “a bundle of lies to white wash the devastating impact” of the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.

Members of the Parliament Muhammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi pointed out that the footprint of government forces increased in Kashmir despite claims of normacly and development.

“Why have bunkers, night raids, civilian killings returned to haunt people?,” they said. “How has the unemployment ratio skyrocketed to an all-time high of 21.6 percent, which is thrice the national average? Why are people associated with manufacturing, horticulture, tourism and trade in the throes of a profound crisis? ”

They questioned Sitharaman for “which yardstick had she employed to gauge the development and growth parameters.”

“A simple fact check,” the MPs said, “will reveal how badly Jammu and Kashmir is doing on all developmental indices.”

The claims of the government, the MPs said, “are akin to running salt into the wounds of the people of J&K, who are being denied democracy and not trusted with a popular government, whose democratic rights have been crippled, whose exclusive rights over the land, jobs and natural resources stand liquidated.”

The MPs said the union minister’s “gloating” on Kashmir was belied by the prevailing ground situation in Kashmir.

They said union ministers in the current central government have been “outlandishly lying to white wash the devastating outcome of its August 5, 2019 unilateral and undemocratic decisions.”

“The major causality of the abrogation of Articles 370, 35 A has been the freedom of press,” they said, adding that by denying press freedom, “the government is only peddling it lies to white wash the aftermath of the Himalayan blunder it committed on August 5, 2019.”

The MPs also criticised the administration’s Media Policy 2020 as having “taken away the basic principle of a free press and systematically stifled all forms of dissent.”

Cautioning the central government against misconstruing the situation in J&K, the MPs demanded the return of Article 370.

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