The verbal spat between Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satyapal Malik and former Congress president Rahul Gandhi continues after Malik accused Gandhi of trying to create trouble in the Valley by politicising the situation.
In his tweet on Wednesday, Rahul Gandhi replied to Governor Malik by addressing him as Maalik (master). "Dear Maalik ji, I saw your feeble reply to my tweet. I accept your invitation to visit Jammu & Kashmir and meet the people, with no conditions attached. When can I come?" read Gandhi's tweet.
On August 11, the Congress leader had tweeted saying: "Reports of unrest are emanating from J&K where the government has imposed a media and communications blackout". Governor Malik had slammed Gandhi for his remarks, claiming that no such incident has taken place in the state.
The Governor said that he will send an aircraft for the Congress leader to visit Kashmir Valley and observe the ground situation. "You are a responsible person and you should not speak like this," he said.
Rahul Gandhi replied to Malik saying that a delegation of opposition leaders and he will accept his gracious invitation to visit Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. "We won't need an aircraft but please ensure us the freedom to travel and meet the people, mainstream leaders and our soldiers stationed over there," read his tweet.
A statement was issued by the Governor's office on Tuesday (August 13) stating that "Rahul Gandhi is politicising the situation in the valley by seeking to bring Opposition leaders to Jammu and Kashmir and increase the unrest and problems for the common people. He has put forth many conditions for visiting J&K, including meeting mainstream leaders under detention."
The former finance minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram also slammed the J&K Governor saying that his invitation to Rahul Gandhi was never sincere and was only a "tool of propaganda". He said, "Malik's claim that the former Congress chief had put conditions for his visit was rubbish."
"Rahul Gandhi asked for freedom to meet everyone, including soldiers. How is that putting conditions...can a visitor not ask for freedom to meet different sections of the people and to enquire about the welfare of the soldiers," he said.
The Opposition leaders were not allowed to enter Jammu and Kashmir after the centre decided to scrap Article 370 (giving special status to the state) and bifurcate the state into two Union Territories. Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had compared the situation in Jammu and Kashmir with Nazi concentration camps.
Section 144 was imposed in large parts of the region since the decision. However, the situation is getting cool in Jammu and Kashmir after a lot of protests were witnessed in the state and Section 144 was imposed after the decision. Even though the officials feared tribulation during the festival of Eid-al-Adha, nothing of that sort happened and the situation was very peaceful. The officials said that the restrictions would be removed completely after August 15.