Nirmala Sitharaman’s remarks on Kashmir situation ‘bundle of lies’: NC

A simple factcheck will reveal how badly UT is doing on all developmental indices, they say

Senior National Conference (NC) leaders and MPs Muhammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi on Thursday described the remarks made by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on the situation in Kashmir as “a bundle of lies”.

“Ms. Sitharaman’s remarks on ‘changed ground situation’ in J&K is a bundle of lies to whitewash the devastating impact of the August 5, 2019 decisions of the Union Government on the people and economy of J&K,” they said in a joint statement.

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They asked the Union Minister to enumerate the yardstick she employed to gauge the development and growth parameters.

“She has been outlandishly lying to whitewash the devastating outcome of its August 5, 2019 unilateral and undemocratic decisions.”

The MPs asked if the situation was good then why has the footprint of forces increased in Kashmir.

“Why have bunkers, night raids, civilian killings returned to haunt people? How has the unemployment ratio skyrocketed to an all-time high of 21.6%, which is thrice the national average? Why are people associated with manufacturing, horticulture, tourism and trade in the throes of a profound crisis? What yardstick has the concerned Minister employed to gauge the development in Jammu and Kashmir?”

The MPs said Ms. Sitharaman’s claims were akin to rubbing salt into the wounds of the people of J&K, who are being denied democracy and not trusted with a popular government.

“The decisions of August, 5 2019 have plunged J&K into a deep chasm of political uncertainty, and insecurity, dissolving the multitude of dividends encashed by previous democratically elected successive State and Central Governments in terms of improving security, infusing confidence in youth, generating employment, perking up development,” they said.

A simple factcheck, the MPs said, will reveal how badly J&K is doing on all developmental indices. “The major causality of the abrogation of Articles 370, 35 A has been the freedom of press in J&K. The new ‘media policy 2020’ has taken away the basic principle of a free press and systematically stifled all forms of dissent,” they said.

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