The Opposition Congress on Friday boycotted the address of Governor Tathagata Roy in the Meghalaya Assembly in protest against his tweet last month backing the boycott of “everything Kashmiri” in the aftermath of the the Pulwama terror attack, PTI reported.
Seats earmarked for Opposition leaders stayed empty as Roy addressed the first day of the Budget Session, NDTV reported. During his address on Friday, Roy condemned the Pulwama attack on February 14, in which 40 jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force were killed. “We express our deepest condolences to the family members of the deceased jawans,” he said.
“Don’t visit Kashmir, don’t go to Amarnath for the next two years. Don’t buy articles from Kashmir emporia or Kashmiri tradesman who come every winter,” Roy had written on Twitter on February 19, quoting from an “appeal” by a retired Army officer. “Boycott everything Kashmiri.”
Roy, who has in the past been a senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader, describes himself on Twitter as a “right-wing Hindu socio-political thinker, writer, ideologue”.
Leader of Opposition Mukul Sangma said the Congress Legislature Party would boycott the Governor’s address in protest against his call to boycott Kashmiri goods. Such tweets by a person holding a constitutional office did not augur well for the people, he added.
“The PM should have pulled up the governor,” Sangma said. “He should have been removed from the high office in the best interest of the nation.”
Congress MLA Ampareen Lyngdoh said Roy is expected to uphold constitutional morality since he is a governor. “Such comments from a Governor aren’t only distasteful, but an insult to the constitutional office he holds,” Lyngdoh said in a tweet.
The Meghalaya Congress accused the governor of hiding “comfortably behind the immunity” provided by his office. “Tathagata Roy should be held responsible for inciting violence against all Kashmiris and trying to divide this nation,” the party said in a tweet.
In the latest such attack on Kashmiri people, saffron-clad men on Wednesday had assaulted two Kashmiri roadside vendors in Uttar Pradesh’s capital Lucknow. The Centre on Friday again directed all states and Union Territories to ensure the safety and security of people from Jammu and Kashmir.