Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and party leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday appealed to the people of Telangana to exercise their franchise in large numbers as voting for the Assembly polls is underway.
Former Chief Minister and PDP leader, Mehbooba Mufti, on Tuesday, while appreciating the Congress’s Lok Sabha election manifesto released by Rahul Gandhi in which the Kashmir issue has dwelled in length, said, “Congress has shown great courage by endorsing issues PDP incorporated in its agenda of alliance with BJP”.
Reacting to the manifesto, Mehbooba further tweeted, “Revocation of AFSPA, not fiddling with JK constitutional provisions & holding unconditional dialogue. The roadmap PDP envisages is the only solution for a peaceful J&K”.
Congress has shown great courage by endorsing issues PDP incorporated in its agenda of alliance with BJP. Revocation of AFSPA, not fiddling with JK constitutional provisions & holding unconditional dialogue .The roadmap PDP envisages is the only solution for a peaceful J&K pic.twitter.com/HddumNZZZK
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) April 2, 2019
The manifesto, however, does not specify the strategy that the Congress would adopt to remove the alleged discrimination with Jammu and Ladakh regions of the state.
In the 53-page Congress manifesto, almost two pages have been devoted to Kashmir in which the party has proposed to reduce the presence of the Army and para-military forces in the valley and review of the Armed Forces Special Powers ACT (AFSPA).
While affirming that the entire Jammu and Kashmir was a part of India, the manifesto referred to the Article 370 that provides special status to the state and stated that nothing will be done or allowed to change its Constitutional position.
Highlighting that dialogue is the only way forward in Jammu and Kashmir, the Congress promised to reopen dialogue without pre-conditions and said that the Congress has long held the view that dialogue is the only way to understand the aspirations of people of the three regions of J&K and find an honourable solution to their issues.
The manifesto says, “We will adopt a two-pronged approach: firstly, uncompromising firmness on the border and ending infiltration; and secondly, absolute fairness in dealing with the demands of the people and winning their hearts and minds.”
The Congress also promised three Congress interlocutors to hold talks in the state.
We promise the people of J&K talks without pre-conditions. We will appoint three interlocutors drawn from civil society to facilitate such talks, the manifesto added.
“Jammu and Kashmir and its problems deserve a large-hearted approach that will eschew muscular militarism and legalistic formulations and look for an innovative federal solution. Congress promises to find such a solution through patient dialogue and talks with all stakeholders in the state”, the manifesto added.