Congress leaders speaking in different voices on Kashmir, national security: Naidu

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Chennai, Aug 20 (IANS) Union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday slammed the Congress party leaders for speaking in different voices on issues concerning the country’s unity and security and on Jammu and Kashmir.

The Information and Broadcasting Minister said the Centre and the BJP-PDP alliance Jammu and Kashmir government were doing everything to normalise the situation in the Kashmir valley, where violence has claimed over 65 lives since the past 40 days.

Taking on former Union Ministers P. Chidambaram, Salman Khurshid and Kapil Sibal giving divergent reactions on Jammu and Kashmir and on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reference to unrest in Balochistan, Naidu wondered how could the Congress distance itself from the views of its leaders by describing them as their personal views.

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“All the three leaders held important portfolios during ten years of UPA government. To what extent will the Congress leaders stoop?” he said.

Taking exception to Chidambaram’s statement that the Congress, the National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party should come together, Naidu termed it an attempt to “destabilize the democratically elected government in Jammu and Kashmir”.

He reminded the Congress that it was the oldest party and had to act responsibly in such situations instead of being seen reaping political dividends.

He also urged all sections of people including a section of the media to exercise restraint in speaking on the Kashmir issue.

He said the media should ensure that such footage is not shown “that could be used by our adversaries against us”.

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Naidu blamed Pakistan for inspiring, aiding, abetting, funding and training the terrorists.

“Pakistan is allowing the terrorists to be trained on their land. Instead of doing all this, Pakistan should mind itself with the unrest in Balochistan, Gilgit and Pakistan occupied Kashmir,” he said.

Naidu said the earlier Congress regimes applied the sedition law against many in the past, but while in opposition, the party “tries to preach about the evils of the law”.

“The raising of anti-India slogans in a recent event organised by Amnesty International in Bengaluru amounts to sedition though the NGO tried to disassociate itself from it,” he said.

He sought to know from the rights activists “where they were when security forces personnel and many innocent civilians were killed in Kashmir”.

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He also alleged that the Congress leaders tried to influence the police case on the issue of raising anti-India slogans in Bengaluru.

“Once a case is filed, political leaders are not supposed to try to exert any influence,” he said.



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