Opposition leaders, led by Rahul Gandhi, to visit Kashmir on August 24

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 23, 2019

At the invitation of Governor Malik, leaders will interact with residents

Accepting the invitation from Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi will lead a delegation of Opposition leaders to Kashmir on Saturday.

The Wayanad MP is learnt to have informed the Governor’s office that he, along with other Opposition leaders such as Congress’s Ghulam Nabi Azad, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI General Secretary D Raja and DMK leader Thiruchi Siva, will visit the State and interact with the people of the Valley on Saturday.

Apart from the Congress, CPI(M), CPI and DMK, representatives of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Trinamool Congress will also travel to Kashmir the same day. The leaders met in Parliament on Friday to finalise the plan to visit the State. The meeting assessed that the situation in the Valley is “terrible” as people find it difficult to get even daily ration.

The leaders hoped that the Governor will make arrangements for the travel of the Opposition leaders as promised. Azad, Yechury and Raja had to return from Srinagar airport as the Police refused permission for them to exit the airport.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) had organised a protest on Thursday demanding the Centre to release the political leaders, academics and civil society activists. The parties had resolved to stand with the people of Kashmir and questioned the Centre’s actions soon after abrogating Article 370.

Restoring normalcy

A resolution passed at the protest meeting on Thursday urged the Centre to restore normalcy and communications in the State so that people can reach out to their loved ones and their family members. The resolution said there is an ‘undeclared Emergency’ in the Valley. “As a consequence of abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution in respect of Jammu and Kashmir, without following due process of consultations with the people of the State of their elected representatives, an undeclared state of Emergency has come into force in the Valley,” said the resolution.

Published on August 23, 2019

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