The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday claimed that by calling Kashmir India’s internal matter, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had made a U-turn after earlier insulting the country with his “irresponsible utterances” on the situation in the region, Hindustan Times reported. The ruling party alleged that Gandhi’s comments had been used by Pakistan in its application to the United Nations.

“Rahul Gandhi’s statements on the violence and deaths in the Valley have been used by Pakistan in their petition against India in the United Nations, in which the Islamabad has said and I quote that ‘the acts of violence in Kashmir have been acknowledged by mainstream politicians like Congress leader Rahul Gandhi,’” said Union minister and BJP leader Prakash Javadekar.

Javadekar wondered if Gandhi’s thinking had changed after getting elected MP from Wayanad in Kerala. “I am far will vote bank politics go?” he said.

The minister accused the former Congress president and the Opposition party of doing the “most irresponsible politics ever”. “Things are not wrong in Kashmir but in Congress,” Javadekar added. “This statement shows the bankruptcy of the party that ruled the nation for 70 years. Never has this happened in the past that the statement of a political party were used against the country. The language of the party and its leader became handle for Pakistan.”

The minister claimed that Gandhi had made the U-turn “because the nation was enraged, they wanted him to”, NDTV reported.

Earlier in the day, the Congress leader said there was no room for Pakistan or any other foreign country to interfere in Jammu and Kashmir, and called Islamabad the “prime supporter of terrorism”. Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala claimed Pakistan had “mischievously dragged” Rahul Gandhi’s name to “justify the pack of lies and deliberate misinformation”. Surjewala added that Pakistan should be held accountable for the “unpardonable and inhumane violations of human rights” in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and Balochistan.

On August 24, Gandhi had lashed out at the Centre over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir after a delegation of Opposition leaders, including him, were not allowed to enter Kashmir. Gandhi had told reporters that the Opposition “got a taste of the draconian administration and brute force unleashed” on the people of the state, adding that the situation there was not normal.

The Centre imposed a security lockdown and communications blackout in the state on August 5 before withdrawing its special status and splitting it into two Union Territories. The restrictions on public gatherings and movement are still in place in several parts. New Delhi’s actions were swiftly condemned by Islamabad, which downgraded diplomatic ties and ended bilateral trade. Since then, Pakistan has raised the Kashmir matter at the United Nations Security Council, and talked of raising it at the UN Human Rights Council and the International Court of Justice.

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