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Sat. Jan 28th, 2023
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JAMMU: Congress will use its “full power” to get J&K’s statehood restored, Rahul Gandhi promised a large gathering in Jammu’s Satwari Chowk on Monday, steering clear of mentioning the nullification of Article 370 by Parliament in 2019 that took away the erstwhile state’s special status.
“There is no bigger issue than statehood for you. Your right has been snatched,” Rahul, who is on the final lap of his Bharat Jodo Yatra, said. “I spoke to a cross-section of people from J&K during my yatra through the Jammu region, and it’s clear you are not being heard. You used to be administered by people from J&K, but now you are been governed by outsiders.”
The MP from Kerala’s Wayanad claimed J&K’s plight was illustrated by the highest level of unemployment in the country. “Youngsters here aspire to become engineers, doctors and lawyers, but they realise they cannot,” he said.
Targeting BJP for the Agniveer scheme for recruitment to the Army, he said, “There used to be another way to get into the Army, but yeh rasta bhi bandh hai ab (this path is closed too).”
Rahul said his march was a response to “democracy in the country being under attack”. He demanded that J&K lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha apologise to the Kashmiri Pandit community for telling them that they should not seek alms.
Congress later quoted his remark in a tweet from its official handle, “When a delegation of Kashmiri Pandits went to meet the Lt Governor, the LG told them that ‘you should not beg’. I want to tell the lieutenant governor that they are not begging; they are asking for their rights.”

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