Union Minister Amit Shah on Friday, 11 October, targeted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over a delegation of the party’s overseas UK unit meeting Britain's Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and discussing Kashmir, according to PTI.
“Rahul Gandhi must apologise for this as it is against India’s stated stand that there will be no third-party role in Kashmir and the state is India’s internal matter. Rahul Gandhi should clarify his stand on the issue,” Shah said, addressing a rally in Maharashtra’s Buldhana district.
Shah’s attack comes a day after Corbyn said he discussed the human rights situation in Kashmir with “UK representatives from the Indian Congress Party”.
“A very productive meeting with UK representatives from the Indian Congress Party where we discussed the human rights situation in Kashmir. There must be a de-escalation and an end to the cycle of violence and fear which has plagued the region for so long,” Corbyn tweeted.
The Labour Party leader, whose stand on Kashmir has not gone down well with the Indian government, also tweeted a picture of the meeting.
The picture included Kamal Dhaliwal, who heads the overseas Congress in the UK.
BJP Demands Explanation
The BJP had on Thursday, 10 October, slammed the Congress, as a row erupted following Corbyn's tweet.
“Appalling! Congress owes it to the people of India to explain what its leaders are telling foreign leaders about India. India will give a befitting reply to Congress for these shameful shenanigans!” the BJP said in a tweet.
The saffron party's foreign affairs department in-charge Vijay Chauthaiwale said, “This is Congress seeking advice from the UK Labour Leader — they might as well go to their masters directly in Pakistan.”
‘Open to Misinterpretation’
Jeremy Corbyn on Thursday admitted that “some of the language” used in the resolution was open to misinterpretation, reported Hindustan Times.
He admitted this in a letter to the Labour Friends of India – a lobby group within the Labour party and insisted that he understood the concerns in the 1.5 million-strong Indian community in the UK.
This comes after severe backlash from the Indian government and Indian diaspora in the UK.
Congress Issues Clarification
Accusing the BJP of trying to distract the people, the Indian Overseas Congress, UK has also issued an official clarification on Twitter regarding the matter.
Congress leader Anand Sharma said that Kashmir is an internal issue. “We are shocked by this misrepresentation. Any issue pertaining to Jammu & Kashmir are purely India's internal affairs,” he told ANI.
The party released a statement on Twitter, saying, “Our meeting with @jeremycorbyn was held to condemn the Kashmir resolution passed by his Party & to reiterate that J&K is an internal matter & outside intervention will not be accepted. @BJP4India's malicious statements are another attempt to distract people from their failures (sic).”
(With inputs from ANI, PTI and Hindustan Times)