Congress demands Release of arrested J&K leaders
Scrapping of Art 370 unconstitutional, says Priyanka Not plane, need freedom to meet J&K people: Rahul
New Delhi : 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.
Senior Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said Opposition leaders should be allowed to visit Jammu and Kashmir and speak to the people there and demanded 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.
"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.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said that rule were not followed while nullifying the Article 370 and the moves is 'completely unconstitutional'.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi responded to a stinging barb from Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik.
Malik had said, "I have invited Rahul Gandhi to come here. I will send you a plane, to observe (the situation) and then speak up."
Rahul said the opposition won't need an aircraft but permission to travel freely in the State and meet people that has been under a security lockdown.