Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday attacked Rahul Gandhi after a controversy erupted over British Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s tweet of a “very productive meeting” with a Congress delegation and discussions on Kashmir.
While campaigning in Maharashtra ahead of the Assembly polls on October 21, Amit Shah said, “Kamal Dhaliwal – Overseas Congress Chief, close to Rahul Gandhi, met Jeremy Corbyn and said the situation is not normal in Kashmir. I want to ask Rahul Gandhi, what does your party want to do by discussing matters of the country with foreign leaders”.
He further asserted that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had told US President Donald Trump that Kashmir was India’s internal matter and it would brook no interference.
“This has been our consistent stand for years that we will not tolerate any kind of interference in Kashmir. If any country tried to speak on Kashmir, we said that it is our internal matter, be it American President or anyone else. PM Modi said clearly that Kashmir is our internal matter and you need not interfere,” Shah was quoted as saying by NDTV.
The ruling party chief said BJP has achieved the stupendous task of scrapping Article 370 in the Kashmir Valley, he emphasised.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had on Thursday launched a scathing attack on the Congress after the party representatives had a meeting with their UK counterparts along with the leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn.
Following the meet, Jeremy Corbyn on Wednesday tweeted, “A very productive meeting with UK representatives from the Indian Congress Party where we discussed the human rights situation in Kashmir. There must be de-escalation and an end to the cycle of violence and fear which has plagued the region for so long.”
He tagged a picture which included Kamal Dhaliwal, who heads the overseas Congress in the UK.
A very productive meeting with UK representatives from the Indian Congress Party where we discussed the human rights situation in Kashmir.
There must be a de-escalation and an end to the cycle of violence and fear which has plagued the region for so long. pic.twitter.com/wn8DXLohJT
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) October 9, 2019
The BJP, in its reaction, tweeted, “Appalling! @INCIndia owes it to the people of India to explain what its leaders are telling foreign leaders about India. India will give a befitting reply to Congress for these shameful shenanigans!”
Appalling! @INCIndia owes it to the people of India to explain what its leaders are telling foreign leaders about India.
India will give a befitting reply to Congress for these shameful shenanigans! https://t.co/Sb0MThF17A
— BJP (@BJP4India) October 10, 2019
However, the Indian Overseas Congress UK hit back saying that the BJP’s “malicious” statements are another attempt to distract people from their failures.
Kamal Dhaliwal in a tweet claimed that the meeting with Corbyn was held to “condemn” the Kashmir resolution passed by his party and to “reiterate” that J-K is an internal matter and outside intervention “will not be accepted”.
Our meeting with @jeremycorbyn was held to condemn the Kashmir resolution passed by his Party & to reiterate that J&K is an internal matter & outside intervention will not be accepted. @BJP4India‘s malicious statements are another attempt to distract people from their failures.
— kamalpreet Dhaliwal (@kamalpreetDhal4) October 10, 2019
India had earlier last month slammed the UK’s Labour Party after it passed a resolution calling for international intervention in the Kashmir issue.
The UK’s Opposition Labour Party had passed an emergency motion on Kashmir, calling for party leader Jeremy Corbyn to seek international observers to “enter” the region and demand the right of self-determination for its people.
The Kashmir motion, moved by the Labour Party, said that “a major humanitarian crisis is taking place in the Kashmir region” and several exchanges of fire across the Line of Control have taken place.
It spoke of “enforced disappearance of civilians, state-endorsed sexual violence of women by armed forces and the overall prevalence of human rights violations in the region that not only continues but has exasperated further in the past week”.
It spoke of the “house arrest/imprisonment of mainstream politicians and activists and restrictions on journalistic freedom” and “ongoing communications blackout causing disruption for medical agencies and families not knowing the safety of their relatives”.
India strongly hit back saying that there was no question of engaging with Labour Party on Kashmir issue.
The Ministry of External Affairs termed the motion as “uninformed and unfounded” aimed at “pandering to vote-bank interests”.
“Government has noted certain developments at the Labour Party Conference on September 25 pertaining to the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir. We regret the uninformed and unfounded positions taken at this event,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
India has maintained that the Kashmir issue is a bilateral one and no third party has any role in it.
UK’s leader of opposition Jeremy Corbyn had tweeted on August 11 that “the situation in Kashmir is deeply disturbing. Human rights abuses taking place are unacceptable. The rights of the Kashmiri people must be respected and UN resolutions implemented.”
Corbyn’s tweet followed a letter from a British Labour MP who urged Johnson to take steps against the so-called “illegal” actions undertaken by India.