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WATCH: Rahul Gandhi negotiating with Srinagar Airport officials after being denied entry into city

Rahul Gandhi’s visit came days after Governor Satya Pal Malik ‘invited’ him to the state via Twitter. (Express Photo/File)

Soon after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and other Opposition leaders were sent back to Delhi from Srinagar airport on Saturday, a video was shared by Congress that showed them negotiating with airport authorities to let them leave the airport to evaluate the situation in the valley.

The video, posted by the grand old party on Twitter, shows former Congress president Rahul Gandhi attempting to convince officials that he had been invited by the Governor. Gandhi says that he arrived there after Governor Satya Pal Malik invited him to assess that normalcy had been restored following weeks of restrictions after the government’s decision to abolish Article 370. Article 370 was a temporary provision that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir. However, the attempt was unsuccessful and the Opposition leaders, including Gandhi were sent back from the airport itself.

The govt is saying everything is okay here & everything is normal. If everything is normal why are we not allowed out?: Shri @RahulGandhi

Was it not Governor Satya Pal Malik that invited Mr. Gandhi to come to J&K and assess the situation for himself? #RahulGandhiWithJnK

— Congress (@INCIndia) August 24, 2019

Gandhi is heard speaking to a policeman and others, “The thing is, the government has invited me. The Governor has said that I am invited. Toh ab main aaya hoon. Phir aap keh rahein hai ki nahi aa sakte hain (That’s why I have now come here and now you are saying that I cannot come.) The government is saying that everything is okay here; everything is normal. If everything is normal, then why are we not allowed out? It’s a bit surprising.”

Besides Rahul Gandhi, 11 other opposition leaders which included Sitaram Yechury from the Left, D Raja from CPI, Tiruchi Siva from DMK, RJD’s Manoj Jha and TMC’s Dinesh Trivedi were part of the Opposition delegation.

“We want to go to any area that is peaceful and meet 10 to 15 people. We don’t want to do anything more. If it’s 144 ( Section 144), then we are ready to go individually…we will go individually,” Mr Gandhi was heard as saying.

“Yeah, yeah, everybody will go…,” Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress pipes in.

Opposition leaders, who had flown to asses the situation in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, claimed that they were held at the airport in Srinagar in what they described as “unconstitutional” and “undemocratic” manner.

After coming back to Delhi, Gandhi said the J-K administration’s decision to turn them back proved that the law and order situation in the valley was “not normal”. The Governor, Satya Pal Malik said that Rahul Gandhi’s visit was political. Governor Malik was quoted by news agency ANI, saying, “I had invited him out of goodwill but he started doing politics. It (their visit) was nothing but a political action by these people. Parties should keep in mind the national interest at these times.”

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Source: Financial Express