Rahul Gandhi Accepts Offer To Visit J&K, Governor Backtracks, Gandhi Says ‘No Conditions Attached. When Can I Come?’
Satya Pal Malik had withdrawn his invite to Gandhi claiming he was politicising matters by "seeking to bring a delegation of opposition leaders".
Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik have been in a back-and-forth for the past few days over the situation in the now-Union Territory.
Gandhi had accepted Malik’s offer to visit Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh to observe the situation on the ground. He had added that a “delegation of Opposition leaders” would join him and hoped that “We won’t need an aircraft, but please ensure us the freedom to travel and meet the people, mainstream leaders and our soldiers stationed over there.” Malik, in response to that, however, withdrew his offer.
Dear Governor Malik,
A delegation of opposition leaders & I will take you up on your gracious invitation to visit J&K and Ladakh.
We won’t need an aircraft but please ensure us the freedom to travel & meet the people, mainstream leaders and our soldiers stationed over there. https://t.co/9VjQUmgu8u
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 13, 2019
The governor claimed that he had never invited the Congress leader with “so many pre-conditions” and referred the matter to the local police and administration for further examination. “Rahul Gandhi is politicising the matter by seeking to bring a delegation of opposition leaders to create further unrest and problems for the common people,” he said in the statement.
On August 14, Gandhi responded to that with, “Dear Malik ji, I saw your feeble reply to my tweet. I accept your invitation to visit Jammu and Kashmir and meet the people, with no conditions attached. When can I come?”
Dear Maalik ji,
I saw your feeble reply to my tweet.
I accept your invitation to visit Jammu & Kashmir and meet the people, with no conditions attached.
When can I come?
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 14, 2019
Gandhi had earlier expressed his concerns over reports of violence in Jammu and Kashmir. To that, the governor had countered with, “Gandhi is responding to fake news possibly spread from across the border about the situation in Kashmir, which is peaceful with negligible incidents.”
The BBC on August 10 had reported on massive protests at Saura in Srinagar where arms firing was heard. A BBC video had shown several hundred people gathered for the demonstration. Reuters an Al Jazeera too had reported the incident.