Cong’s stand on restoration of statehood status to J&K is very clear: Jairam Ramesh

Jammu: Terming revocation of Article 370 as unconstitutional, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Friday said party’s stand on restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir is very clear.

“The bill passed on August 5, 2019 in the Parliament was done without discussion, examination and majority. It was ‘forcefully’ revoked,” said Jairam Ramesh speaking to mediapersons at a press conference at Chadwal village of Kathua district where Rahul Gandhi led Bharat Jodo Yatra is making a halt tonight.

“We are against UT status to Jammu and Kashmir and statehood status must be restored,” he said adding that many states in India have Article 371 with special provisions.

On Indo-Pak talks, he said, “everybody wants to have peaceful dialogue with Pakistan but only on a condition that they should stop terrorism. Talks and terrorism cannot go together.”

On participation of a large number of people in the Yatra despite rains, he called it a “healthy sign” in Jammu.

Jairam Ramesh also said the Congress party has invited 23 Heads of national political parties to join Rahul Gandhi at National Flag hoisting ceremony in Srinagar when yatra culminates at Lal Chowk on January 29-30.

He said Bharat Jodo Yatra is launched with a motive to highlight increasing economic inequality, social polarisation and political dictatorship in India due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies.

On Ghulam Nabi Azad’s Democratic Azad Party, Jairam Ramesh said, ‘Azad is 100 percent B team of BJP. His party is almost finished before taking off. The ‘ranneeti’ of Modi-Shah has failed in Jammu and Kashmir.”

On difference of ideologies of BJP and Congress he termed it as ‘clash of ideologies’ stating, “Congress is not only a voting machine but gave constitution and modern India and contrary to that BJP took the nation completely on a different path.”

He further revealed that from January 26 to March 26, Congress is launching two-month long ‘Haath Se Haath Jodo Abhiyan’.

“During this campaign, Congress will aggressively visit door-to-door all over the country to aware people on document ready in shape of ‘chargesheet on Modi govt’s failure’ releasing tomorrow at Delhi,” Jairam Ramesh said.

Meanwhile , J&K Pradesh Congress Committee chief spokesperson, Ravinder Sharma also thanked Dogra Swabhiman Sanghathan Party Chief, Choudhary Lal Singh for extending support to Bharat Jodo Yatra.

He criticised the present government on recent target killings in the valley.

JKPCC President, Vikar Rasool Wani said, “We are thankful to people for giving grand reception to our leader at Lakhanpur. The Yatra will reach Jammu on January 23 and next day will start March from Nagrota.”

Thereafter, 12-km ‘padyatra’ will begin from Udhampur followed by night stay at Ramban and after covering few kilometres at Banihal, yatra will enter Srinagar.

“Many deputations will be meeting Rahul Gandhi in both the regions and highlighting the issues of Jammu and Kashmir on which the BJP government has failed on all fronts,” Wani said.

Congress MP and incharge J&K Affairs Rajni Patil, senior leader Digvijay Singh and others too were present in the press conference.

A theme song on ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ was also released in regional Dogri language on the occasion.

Bharat Jodo Yatra started on September 7 from Kanyakumari is expected to culminate on January 29-30 at Srinagar.

Earlier in the morning, Rahul Gandhi resumed the yatra from Hatli Morh in Kathua district that halted at Chadwal village.

Tight security arrangements are made for the yatra while the traffic department has also issued advisory for the vehicular movement on the highway.