Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday strongly lashed out at Congress leaders’ statements on Kashmir. In a press briefing, Naidu hit out at the Congress by saying that the party is not only badly divided over the issue, but is also guided by sheer political opportunism.
Questioning senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram’s statement that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should join hands with the Congress and the National Conference to resolve the crisis in Jammu and Kashmir, Naidu said: “What do they mean PDP, Congress, NC should come together? Are they trying to unsettle an elected government in the state?”
Naidu asked why the Congress was trying to exonerate Pakistan, saying: “I appeal them to be sensitive, realistic, and to act and speak accordingly.”
“The Congress is divided on the issue of Kashmir. Their party disowned the statements given by senior leaders like P. Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal and Salman Khurshid. These statements and contradictions by the Congress show a lack maturity and political opportunism,” Naidu added.
He said what is consistent about Congress party’s policy on Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir is its inconsistency.
“Congress has once again displayed its insensitivity on Kashmir issue. Its own leaders are not in consonance. It appears that Congress leaders are not guided by national interest but political opportunism,” the minister said.
Responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mention of Balochistan in his Independence Day address, Khurshid had said the reference amounted to “ruining our case on Pakistan-occupied Kashmir”.
His colleague Kapil Sibal said the Balochistan mention would have “consequences”.
The Congress party, however, distanced itself from the statements of Khurshid and Sibal.