Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in his retort to Jammu and Kashmir Governor “withdrawing the invitation” extended to him to visit the Valley “because of several pre-conditions”, on Wednesday said he “accepts the invite to meet the people of J-K without any conditions”.
Gandhi said he saw the “feeble reply” by the Governor and sought to know when he could come.
“Dear Malikji, I saw your feeble reply to my tweet. I accept your invitation to visit Jammu and Kashmir and meet the people, with no conditions attached. When can I come?” Gandhi tweeted.
Dear Maalik ji,
I saw your feeble reply to my tweet.
I accept your invitation to visit Jammu & Kashmir and meet the people, with no conditions attached.
When can I come?
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 14, 2019
His remarks came a day after Malik on Tuesday accused Gandhi of politicising the Kashmir issue by seeking to put several pre-conditions on visiting the Valley, which he alleged would lead to further unrest and problems for the people.
“Rahul Gandhi is politicising the matter by seeking to bring a delegation of opposition leaders to create further unrest and problems for the common people. He has put forth many conditions for visiting J&K, including meeting mainstream leaders under detention,” Malik’s office said in a statement.
Since the Governor “had never invited him with so many pre-conditions, he has referred the case to the local police and administration to examine the request further,” the statement said.
Rahul Gandhi had earlier on Tuesday told Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik that he does not need an aircraft but the “freedom to travel and meet people” in the Kashmir Valley.
“Dear Governor Malik, a delegation of opposition leaders & I will take you up on your gracious invitation to visit J&K and Ladakh. We won’t need an aircraft but please ensure us the freedom to travel & meet the people, mainstream leaders and our soldiers stationed over there, (sic)” Gandhi tweeted.
His tweet came a day after the Governor on Monday said he will send an aircraft for the Congress leader to visit Kashmir valley and observe the ground situation.
This was in reaction to Rahul Gandhi’s remarks that there have been reports of violence in Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution which gave special status to the state.
“I have invited Rahul Gandhi to come here. I will send you a plane, to observe (the situation) and then speak up. You are a responsible person and you should not speak like this,” Malik said.
Last week, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, as well as CPI and CPI-M General Secretaries D Raja and Sitaram Yechury, were detained at the Srinagar airport.
They were sent back to Delhi without allowing them to meet the people and party leaders, many of whom are under house arrest.