BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad trained guns on Sunday at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who had earlier in the day unfurled the tricolour at Lal Chowk in Srinagar in one of the key moments for Bharat Jodo Yatra. Highlighting that Rahul Gandhi could peacefully unfurl the tricolour in Kashmir, Ravi Shankar praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government and the scrapping of Article 370, implying the situation has been made safe due to the move. “During the Congress government, there was terrorism and fear in Kashmir,” he underlined.
“How did Rahul Gandhi peacefully unfurl the tricolour at Srinagar’s Lal Chowk today? It happened because Modi Ji abrogated Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. After Article 370, Jammu and Kashmir received a high number of tourists. During the Congress government, there was terrorism and fear in Kashmir,” the BJP leader was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
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Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi at a presser refuted claims by leaders of the rival party that the situation in the Valley has improved post-August 2019 – when Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into two Union territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh and its special status was done away with. “No, here targeted killings are happening, bomb blasts are happening. If the security situation had improved, the conversation I had with security people would not have happened. Finally, why don’t BJP people start a yatra from Jammu to Lal Chowk. If the situation is so good then why doesn’t Mr Amit Shah walk from Jammu to Kashmir. I don’t think that argument holds,” he said.
The Yatra – perceived as the party’s attempt to connect with the masses to revive its political fortunes ahead of the 2024 general election – began from Kanyakumari last year, and has traversed 75 districts across 14 states and union territories of the country. More than 3,800 km has been covered during the foot march, as per the party.
A mega-rally is planned in Srinagar on Monday where leaders from Congress and like-minded opposition parties are expected to address the gathering, formally drawing the curtains on the Yatra. Speaking on the impact of the Yatra, Rahul Gandhi underlined that it was “one of the most intense experiences of his life”, and that it gave an “alternate vision”. “The Yatra is not the end… it’s the start. This is the first step. The Congress’s vision will continue to expand from here,” he further highlighted.