New Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi opened a new front in his war of words with BJP on Thursday when he said his party’s hard-work in Jammu and Kashmir have been ruined by bad political decision in recent years. The BJP is in alliance with Mehbooba Mufti’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
Speaking at an event after meeting top global CEOs of Indian origin in Singapore, Rahul Gandhi lauded UPA’s J&K’ policy while berating policies which, according to him, have pulled back the state and its people. “Our Kashmir policy under Dr. Manmohan Singh was about building bridges with people. When UPA came to power in 2004, we were handed a J&K that was burning. We made a plan and worked on it for 9 years,” he said. “(But) In 2014 when I went to J&K, I felt like crying. I saw what a bad political decision can to do years and years of policy-making.”
The previous assembly election in the state had taken place in 2014 when Congress emerged a distant third and failed to prevent the top two parties – PDP and BJP – from partnering to form the government. Rahul, who has since taken over the reigns of Congress, felt that the current dispensation in the state and centre is not doing enough to engage with the people. “You engage with people, you bring people in, you work with people, you trust people. It works. I have seen it for myself,” he said.
In recent days, Rahul has stepped up his attack on the BJP government at the centre – raking up issues of non-performing assets, bankings scams, providing special status to Andhra etc. His comments on J&K on Thursday too are not his first. Rahul had previously said that policies of PM Narendra Modi and his government have ‘burnt’ the state and even distancing himself from former state chief Farooq Abdullah’s view that the Kashmir problem with Pakistan ought to be solved through dialogue alone. Abdullah’s National Conference and the Congress have previously formed alliance in the state to form the government.