Pak uses his J&K remarks before UN, BJP lays into him
Rahul Gandhi's criticism of the revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir seems to have caught up with him and the Congress party. After Pakistan used his statements to make a petition to the United Nations citing how political leaders in India had also noted "people dying" in J&K,
Congress spent the day putting out fires on many fronts.
Even as it slammed the Imran Khan-led Pakistani government for its "pack of lies", it had to fend off attacks by the BJP, which lit into the Grand Old Party for showing the country in poor light.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party also sought an unconditional apology from Rahul and Congress for allegedly shaming the nation by "giving a handle" to Pakistan to target India.
Twitter was afire with heated exchanges between the government and the Congress.
The Gandhi scion tried to wriggle out of the controversy asserting that while he disagreed with the government on several issues, he wanted to make it "absolutely clear" that Kashmir is India's internal issue and violence there is being instigated by Pakistan.
His comments came after Pakistan in its petition to the UN stated "…acts of violence have been acknowledged by mainstream politicians, such as the leader of the Congress party, Mr Rahul Gandhi, who has noted 'people dying' in J&K, in light of events 'going very wrong there'."
Cong’s past faux pas
|After Balakot airstrike, Rahul accused PM of politicising work done by defence forces; sought to underplay strikes
|Cong leader Sam Pitroda blurted out if ‘8 people come, do something [26/11 attacks]; you don’t jump on entire nation [Pak]
|Cong’s LS leader curtually towed Pak linem claiming during Art 370 debate that Kashmir wasn’t India’s internal matter
Congress has accused Pakistan of "mischievously" dragging Rahul's Gandhi's name in its letter.
But not letting the Congress go off the hook, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar demanded that Rahul Gandhi explain the rationale of his sudden U-turn.
"Rahul Gandhi today stated that Kashmir is an internal matter and violence is linked to Pakistan. It's a complete U-turn, why? Because the nation was enraged, they wanted him to," said Javadekar.
"Rahul Gandhi said that things in Jammu and Kashmir were going wrong, there were reports of people dying in J&K. You were wrong, Rahul Gandhi. Things are fine in J&K, there is no violence as you imagined. People haven't died. Pakistan used his remarks. The Pakistani application to the UN mentions remarks made by Rahul Gandhi. The application states that acts of violence have been acknowledged by mainstream party leaders such as Rahul Gandhi," added Javadekar.
Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said Rahul Gandhi's "nadani" (foolishness) is Congress's "pareshani" (trouble).
In defence of the Congress, its spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the party had noticed "reports citing an alleged petition moved by Pakistani Government to United Nations on Jammu & Kashmir, where Rahul Gandhi's name has been mischievously dragged to justify the pack of lies and deliberate misinformation being spread by Pakistan."
Surjewala accused BJP and Javadekar of losing political balance and spreading "misinformation" when the need was to show political unity against Pakistan.
On Tuesday, Pakistani Minister for Human Rights, Shireen Mazari, said she had written a letter to 18 UN Special Procedures mandate on Kashmir issue. Mazari's letter claimed that Rahul Gandhi had noted that people are dying in J&K. The letter to the UN body which is also posted on Twitter quoted Gandhi.