Fact Check

Can Congress Heat-up Winter Session with Same-Old Rhetoric on Jammu and Kashmir?

first day of winter session

Of late, whenever Congress protest over an issue, it invariably ends up in scoring a self-goal. When it had tried to take credit for government deciding against the RCEP, questions were raised why the UPA government had entered into negotiations then? Similarly, on the first day of the Winter session, Congress has raised a slogan against the government over “instability” in Jammu and Kashmir and especially against the preventive detention of some political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir. Here too, Congress has proved that it is opposing an issue for the sake of it. Because neither preventive decisions nor other preventive measures are new in the valley.

So, what was the Congress track record in the issues it is opposing? Here is a brief reminder.

Sheikh Abdullah was detained under Nehru’s rule

Congress which is making noise now over the detention of National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, had sent NC’s Sheikh Abdullah to jail back in 1953 over the Kashmir unrest. Whenever Congress speaks about detention in the valley, on social media platforms this particular episode is shown in reply.  There are accounts such as this one in the public domain.

Curfews & Lockdowns Under Congress

There were no big steps such as the abrogation of Article 370 when the Congress-led UPA government was ruling at the Centre. Still, there were frequent events of unrest in the valley. How can Congress explain the instances where seven out of ten districts of Jammu had come under curfew?

Compared to those days, Jammu and Ladakh regions are completely peaceful now. Some form of uneasiness might have prevailed in some places in Kashmir but that too getting addressed. Ensuring peaceful elections to Panchayats and Block Development Councils, the government has made sure that the administrative and developmental works in the region never gets stalled.

Read The Other Side of Kashmir – Missed or Untold? for a better understanding.

Congress needs to refresh its memory to see the state of J&K under its rule in the Centre. These snapshots from the UPA dateline are self-explanatory.

Objections to EU members visit and a wrong claim

Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury opposed the recent visit of EU delegation to J&K. The words he used while expressing his reservations were seen as objectionable by many. His contention was that the opposition members were refrained from visiting the valley while the EU members were facilitated by the government.

Both of his claims are wrong. After the initial restrictions, the opposition members were not stopped from entering the valley and Ghulam Nabi Azad of Congress did visit the valley back in September.

The EU members’ visit to J&K was private in nature and it did achieve a favourable outcome for India. Congress that had cried ‘internationalisation’ of Kashmir issue over the EU members’ visit, itself had facilitated the visits of EU delegation which had talked with the separatists as well in the time of UPA. You can read all about this in length in our previous article Does EU Delegation Visiting J&K ‘Internationalise’ the Issue? Relax and Read the Facts.

So, on the first day of the Winter session, the disruption of Parliament by Congress had no substantial ground to stand.