Staff Reporter / New Delhi
Congress party has expressed concern over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Briefing media here today, party leader Anand Sharma claimed that there is complete blockade from the administration and news and communication facilities are not accessible.
He asked the government to allow the Opposition leaders to visit the state to take stock of the situation.
The Congress expressed concern on Tuesday over the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir and urged the government to initiate a political dialogue on the issue by taking opposition leaders into confidence and allowing them to visit the state freely.
Sharma said opposition leaders should be allowed to visit Jammu and Kashmir and speak to the people there and demanded the immediate release of all leaders placed under house arrest in the Valley so that they could voice their opinion.
“Since the government has imposed restrictions in the first place and taken this one-sided decision, we urge the government to initiate a political dialogue and take leaders of all opposition parties into confidence,” he told reporters.
Sharma said there were concerns for Jammu and Kashmir — now a Union territory after the government decided to withdraw the special status accorded to the state under Article 370 of the Constitution — as there was a complete shutdown, news blackout and the entire communication network was shut.
“Any political leader does not need the hospitality of the governor. We demand that the government allow opposition leaders to visit Jammu and Kashmir freely so that the nation and the world can know if all is well there or if there is any cause of concern,” he added.
The Congress leader said the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had allied with the National Conference (NC) during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government and with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the Narendra Modi government and that was why they recognised these as Indian political parties that abided by the Constitution. “It will be the best that the government takes these steps. It has been nine days since the decision,” he said.
Questioning why opposition leaders were stopped at the Srinagar airport and not allowed to proceed any further, Sharma said, “This is not good for India’s image. Every citizen has constitutional rights. While we request citizens to abide by law, the government should respect their constitutional rights.”