Srinagar: Senior right wing Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) leader and union minister, M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday slammed the Indian National Congress (INC) for “incorrectly” labelling Jammu and Kashmir as “India occupied Kashmir” in its booklet.
“People would never forgive the party for such a mindset,” he said.
The Congress on Saturday released a booklet with an “incorrect map” of India.
Page 12 of the 16-page booklet titled ‘Rashtriya Suraksha par Aanch’, which was distributed by the Congress, showed the entire state labelled as “Indian Occupied Kashmir” in the context of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The incident occurred during a conference of the opposition party in Lucknow to highlight the shortcomings of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi led NDA government during its three years of rule.
“While the people of the country were celebrating three years of a new India in the making, the Congress party came out with an official publication that described India as having occupied Kashmir and thereby conceding Kashmir to Pakistan,” Naidu told reporters in Hyderabad today.
He noted that the Congress had recently asked the union government to come out with a final solution over Kashmir.
“Perhaps, the final solution they have in mind is that let Kashmir be given to Pakistan so that we all live in peace. This mindset has been reflected in their official booklet released in Lucknow on Saturday,” the information and broadcasting minister said.
“Is it for this that hundreds of our brave soldiers have given up their lives over the years defending our sovereignty and territorial integrity?” he asked.
“People can never forgive the Congress for this mindset which is now a part of their official publication,” the senior BJP leader said.
Asked about the incident, party’s state chief actor-turned politician Raj Babbar said, “Those who have printed it have already given their statement, it makes no sense to comment on the matter again and again.”
Terming the incident as “highly objectionable”, the BJP said the Congress must make its stand clear whether it is with India or Pakistan.
“Congress which has created the Kashmir crisis must answer and make its stand clear that whether it is with India or Pakistan. The question arises, as today the Congress came out with a booklet, which mentions Jammu and Kashmir as India occupied Kashmir.
This is highly objectionable, and it goes on to prove that on one hand the Indian Army is eliminating the terrorists, while the Congress is refusing to believe that Kashmir is an integral part of India,” UP BJP spokesperson Shalabh Mani Tripathi said.
This categorically makes it clear that the language of the Congress and Pakistan is the same. The Congress party should tender an unconditional apology to the country, he said.
“Border dispute with Pakistan and terrorism in Kashmir is a gift of the Congress. It is quite surprising to see that Congress which has virtually failed on all fronts in the last 60 years, is today giving a certificate to the BJP on terrorism and Kashmir dispute,” Tripathi said.