Priyanka Gandhi Vadra today joined the opposition chorus accusing the government of allowing a group of European Union MPs to visit Jammu and Kashmir while denying that opportunity to politicians within the country. The Congress leader called it "unique nationalism".
"In Kashmir, European MPs have the permission to tour around and intervene, but Indian MPs and leaders were turned back from the airport as soon as they landed. This is unique nationalism," the Congress general secretary tweeted in Hindi.
Over 20 MPs, said to be mostly from far right parties in Europe, are travelling to Jammu and Kashmir. They say they want to assess first-hand the situation in the state, which has been under massive security restriction since August 5, when the government announced an end to special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and split it into two states. Hours before the decision was announced, hundreds of mainstream politicians in the state were taken into custody, including three former chief ministers.
On August 25, a delegation of opposition MPs led by Rahul Gandhi had announced a visit to Kashmir to assess the ground situation amid reports of the clampdown hitting people hard. But the group was sent back from the Srinagar airport.
The opposition has questioned why the EU MPs have been given access to the state.
The European lawmakers met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Monday. The PM's office said in a statement that the group's visit should lead to a "better understanding of the cultural and religious diversity of the region of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh; apart from giving them a clear view of the development and governance priorities of the region."
Rahul Gandhi, former Congress chief, tweeted that there was "something very wrong" in the EU visit. "MPs from Europe are welcome to go on a guided tour of Jammu and Kashmir while Indian MPs are banned and denied entry. There is something very wrong with that," he tweeted.