Will provide all help to Kashmiri Pandits: Rahul Gandhi
Says RSS, BJP trying to break J&K's composite culture
Jammu: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday reached out to displaced Kashmiri Pandits, saying he and his family belongs to this community, and promised them all help.
He also accused the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) of trying to break the composite culture of Jammu and Kashmir, and said both the organisations are “ruining” the love and brotherhood that exists among the people of the Union Territory.
“They (RSS, BJP) attack love and brotherhood… You got weakened and as result, they took away your statehood,” he added.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is the ideological fount of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government at the Centre.
The Congress leader exhorted the gathering to chant ‘Jai Mata Di’, a day after he paid obeisance at the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Katra.
“I went to Mata Vaishno Devi shrine yesterday. There are three symbols of mata (pindis) there – Mata Durga, Mata Lakshmi and Mata Saraswati,” Gandhi said.
Goddess Durga protects us, Lakshmi is a symbol of power, and Saraswati symbolises education and knowledge, he said.
“When these three shaktis are in your home and country, your home and country will make progress,” he said.
However, the BJP government’s policies like demonetisation and GST have weakened their powers, he said.
Whereas, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act (MGNREGA) and the GDP with a growth rate of 9 percent under the Congress had increased their powers, he added.
Pointing towards his hand, Gandhi co-related the Congress election symbol with Lord Shiva and Guru Nanak Dev, and said it was the symbol of being fearless.
“This hand is the symbol that you should not be afraid of anything,” Gandhi said, adding that the “BJP is afraid of everything”.
Taking a dig at BJP-led central government, Gandhi accused it of making false promises to migrant Kashmiri Pandits.
“Today morning, a delegation of Kashmiri Pandit brothers had come. When the members of the delegation were talking to me, it came to my mind that I am also a part of this community,” Gandhi said.
He said that his family belongs to the Kashmiri Pandit community.
Kashmiri Pandits were forced to flee from the Kashmir Valley to Jammu and other states in the early 90s soon after the outbreak of militancy in the region.
“A delegation of Kashmiri Pandits told me that a promise of providing Rs 25 lakh compensation has not been fulfilled yet. It was the Congress that announced the compensation for the Kashmiri Pandits,” he said.
“They told me that Congress implemented many welfare schemes for them, but BJP has done nothing. I promise my Kashmiri Pandit brothers that I will do something definitely for them,” he said.
The Congress leader said that whenever he comes to Jammu and Kashmir he feels at home.
“I had said in Srinagar that whenever I come to Jammu and Kashmir I feel that I have come home. Yesterday, I had gone to offer prayers at the Mata Vaishnodevi temple (in Reasi district) and I felt at home,” he said.
“Jammu and Kashmir, which was a state, but now is a Union Territory, has a very old relation with my family,” said Gandhi.
On August 05, 2019, the Centre had abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated it into Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
On the first day of his visit to Jammu on Thursday, Gandhi had paid obeisance at the cave shrine of Mata Vaishnodevi after undertaking a 13-km-long foot yatra.
Last month, Gandhi had offered prayers at one of the biggest temples of Kashmiri Pandits — the Mata Kheerbhawani temple in Ganderbal district in the Kashmir Valley.
This is Gandhi’s second visit to Jammu and Kashmir in the last one month, and he has said that he will also go to Ladakh in the coming days.
Former chief minister and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad while addressing the gathering claimed the Jammu and Kashmir witnessed “development in triple shifts” during Congress and PDP coalition rule, when he was the chief cinister.
Rajni Patil, in-charge Jammu and Kashmir Congress came down heavily on the factions within the party and said that indiscipline would not be tolerated as nobody is above the party. (With PTI inputs)