New Delhi: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) President Mayawati, who supported the NDA Government’s new law abrogating the “special status” of Jammu and Kashmir, has slammed the Opposition parties, including Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who were returned from Srinagar when they tried to enter the border state on Saturday last.
These leaders had tried to visit the state “to take stock of the situation” after withdrawal of the special status on August 5.
The BSP chief argued that they should, in fact, have waited for the situation to normalize, saying the Opposition leaders’ J&K visit without due permission only gave a chance to the BJP and Governor Satya Pal Malik to “politicize” the issue.
The BSP had supported the Centre on scrapping the special status, on the ground that the late Dr. Ambedkar had also opposed the Article 370. “It is well-known that Babasaheb Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar was always in favour of the country’s equality, unity and integration. For this reason, he was not at all in favour of a separate Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir,” she said.
On Saturday, the Opposition leaders were not allowed to leave the Srinagar International Airport by the state administration and they had to return to the national capital.
Gandhi and his sister Priyanka later condemned the BJP and the government claiming that they were “suppressing” voice of the people of J&K.
Recently, Malik had said the situation in the state was normalizing fast and if Gandhi wanted to see it for himself, the government could send its aircraft to him. When the Congress leader reacted by saying he would like to take a delegation of the Opposition, the Governor “withdrew” the invitation. Despite this, Gandhi and others went to Srinagar on Saturday last, only to be returned the way the authorities had returned Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad twice earlier.
The visit was organized a day after the J&K Government officially asked political leaders not to visit the Valley as it would disturb the gradual restoration of the peace and normal life.
Meanwhile, in a significant development, the separate flag of J&K was removed on Saturday last from all government buildings in the state and only the Tricolour was unfurled.