Does Rahul Gandhi want to vitiate the atmosphere in Kashmir, Union minister Anurag Thakur asked on Wednesday about the Congress’ plans to unfurl the tricolour in the Valley and stressed that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir has improved significantly under the Modi government.
An estimated 1.6 crore tourists have visited Jammu and Kashmir in one year, which is a record in itself, the minister told reporters.
“Now tourists can visit every corner of Jammu and Kashmir. This shows that the situation has improved in Jammu and Kashmir. There are no stone pelting incidents. Does Rahul Gandhi want to go there to spoil the atmosphere?”
“Today, anyone can unfurl the tricolour in any part of Jammu and Kashmir because the Narendra Modi government has ended Article 370 and Article 35A in J&K,” he added. Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, which started in Kanyakumari in September, is scheduled to end in Kashmir next month.
Thakur reminded him of the Ekta Yatra undertaken in 1992 by then BJP president Murli Manohar Joshi and Narendra Modi, who had unfurled the national tricolour at Lal Chowk in Srinagar.
“There was a lot of opposition back then to the yatra. There were terrorist attacks, firing incidents. This was because there was a Congress government,” he said.
The BJP leader also recalled the Tiranga Yatra undertaken by him as president of the Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha in 2011.
“The then leaders of opposition in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha – Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley — and myself were jailed as the Congress-National Conference government had opposed the Tiranga Yatra,” Thakur said.
“Things were difficult back then when Article 370 and 35A were still in force,” he said, adding that the situation in the Kashmir Valley had improved significantly under the Modi government.