The only way to bring about lasting peace in J&K is through reconciliation and meaningful engagement that honours the dignity of the people of J&K, said former Chief Minister Mehbooba.
Hours before the Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra entered Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti praised the Congress leader for healing the wounds of hatred in the country.
“He brings a message of love & peace at a time when the country is being fuelled by hatred. We welcome his efforts to heal these wounds,” tweeted Mehbooba.
The PDP has put up a hoarding outside Jammu’s airport welcoming the yatra of Rahul Gandhi.
Mehbooba, National Conference chief Dr. Farooq Abdullah, CPM leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami and several other leaders are expected to receive Rahul at Lakhanpur which is the gateway to Jammu from Punjab.
Dr. Farooq Abdullah had joined the Bharat Jodo Yatra near Gaziabad in UP earlier this month.
However, hitting hard at Rahul’s yatra, J&K BJP chief Ravinder Raina told mediapersons that Rahul Gandhi must apologise to the nation, especially the people of the Union Territory, for the “sins committed by his family and party” in the region over the last 70 years”.
Raina alleged that the Congress has been sympathetic to parties which supported terrorism and asserted that it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has “truly united the country”.
“Gandhi family and Congress have made historic blunders related to Jammu and Kashmir and are directly responsible for terrorism which has consumed thousands of lives. Major parts of Kashmir and Ladakh are under illegal occupation of Pakistan, while Aksai Chin is under illegal occupation of China. He should tell the people as to who is responsible for all this,” he said.
Referring to J&K’s special status under Article 370 and denying of rights to various communities including refugees from Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), Valmikis, Gorkhas and Paharis, Raina said they were given their rights and a respectable place in the society by Modi who abrogated the Article 370.
He said Modi provided justice to all sections of society including women who were also being deprived of their rights.
The Bharat Jodo Yatra that began on 7 September from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu will conclude in Srinagar by 30 January after Rahul addresses a mega rally in the Sher-e-Kashmir stadium. The Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) has invited party MPs, state presidents, CLP leaders and central leaders, besides party president Mallikarjun Kharge, former Congress president Sonia Gandhi and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at the concluding rally in Srinagar. Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut is also expected to be present at the rally.
Special security arrangements have been made along the route that Rahul Gandhi will cover during his nearly 400-km long Bharat Jodo Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir. Security agencies reviewed the security arrangements for the Bharat Jodo Yatra. Senior officers of J&K Police, Punjab Police and CRPF held a meeting at Lakhanpur to finalise security arrangements at the UT’s border.