Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Binoy Viswam, in a letter, has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he be allowed a visit to Jammu and Kashmir since a foreign delegation was given a "red carpet" entry into the region.
"It is everybody's question, why the government disallow any responsible Indian citizen, including Members of Parliament, to enter the territory of Kashmir. Now, the government has spread red carpet for the European Union MPs. In this background, I seek your permission to visit Kashmir and meet with the ordinary people," Mr Viswam said in the letter.
As an Indian citizen, it is a right to visit fellow citizens in Kashmir, he added.
The comments come in the backdrop of a visit by 23 European Union MPs to Jammu and Kashmir today. These MPs met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval yesterday. This is the first such international visit to the state nearly two months after revocation of the special status under Article 370.
"I earnestly hope that you will take necessary steps to realise," the CPI leader wrote.
The Opposition has also asked the government to explain why Indian citizens and political parties were being denied entry into the region while a foreign delegation's visit was being facilitated.
The politburo of the CPI(M) in a statement today said that it is an "affront" of the Indian Parliament and its sovereignty that Indian MPs and political leadership of national parties are denied the freedom of visiting the Valley while a "private visit" by foreign Parliament members was being allowed.
"Though it is claimed that this is a private visit, the prime minister has met them and they are also being briefed by the National Security Advisor. There can be no special privilege for a group of foreign parliamentarians to visit the Valley while it is denied to others, including our own MPs and national political leadership, with most of the known political leaders of the state continuing to remain in custody and detention," the letter by Binoy Viswam read.
During the two-day visit, the EU MPs are expected to be briefed by government officials on the prevailing situation in the Kashmir Valley as well as other parts of Jammu and Kashmir, officials had said.