New Delhi, Jan 21, 2020: Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar has attacked the Centre over its massive outreach programme in Jammu and Kashmir and terming 36 Union Cabinet ministers visiting the region as ’cowards’. A team of 36 Union Ministers are in Jammu and Kashmir from January 18 to attend government functions in different part of the Union Territory nearly six months after Article 370 of the Constitutional was scrapped in August 2019, Zee reported.
"How many elections we’ve had in Jammu and Kashmir? Some of these people are those who were elected and have now decided to betray the cause for which they stood. They are sending 36 union ministers to Jammu and Kashmir. Look at these cowards, 31 are going to Jammu and only 5 to Kashmir," he said. Aiyar was addressing a rally in Kerala’s Malappuram on Citizenship Amendment Act when he made the remarks.
The senior Congress leader also asked why were these leader scared of going to Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh. "For 34 days, they (protesters) have been sitting there protesting against this attempt to divide India once again on religious grounds," he said.
"And who are they going to talk in Kashmir? To the former chief ministers? They can’t. They are all in jail. Farooq Abdullah is in jail. Omar Abdullah is in jail. Mehbooba (Mufti) is in jail. Whom are they going to talk to?" Aiyar was quoted as saying by ANI.
Aiyar further attacked the ruling party in the Centre on the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories. "They are trying to create a political class. Political class grows from among the people. You cannot have a BJP that doesn`t have a single vote in the Valley coming up. There are traitors like the ones we are seeing now, but then in every society there are traitors. These are not representatives of the people, if they were, they would have been elected many many years ago," the former lawmaker said.
Referring to the majority of the ruling BJP in the Lower House, Aiyar said, "Immediately, these arrogant people, it just went to their heads. They said this is the golden opportunity. We are never going to get 303 seats again. Let us push through all the anti-Muslim legislation that we have in mind.
On January 15, it was reported that in a massive outreach by the central government in Jammu and Kashmir two months after it formally became a union territory, about 36 Union Ministers are scheduled to visit it from January 18-25 to meet people and exchange ideas on the possibilities in the region.