Soon after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of massively opening up space for the terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on 12 September said that the absence of peace in the Valley was a cumulative outcome of the misrule of the grand old party beginning with the infamous "Nehruvian blunders".
Speaking to ANI, the Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office, Jitendra Singh said the BJP-led government both at the Centre and in the state has taken upon itself a "herculean task" of restoring normalcy in the state.
"On the contrary, the absence of peace in Kashmir was a cumulative outcome of the misrule of the Congress for nearly half-a-century both at the Centre and in the state. and also accumulative outcome of a series of blunders committed during the congress rule beginning from the infamous Nehruvian blunders in Jammu and Kashmir," he said.
"And therefore, the BJP-led government, both at the Centre and in the state, has taken upon itself a herculean task of restoring normalcy and we are very well heading in that direction. We are, in fact, redeeming the sins that were committed by the Congress over the last five decades," he added.
Responding to Gandhi's comment that Prime Minister Modi destroyed People's Democratic Party (PDP) by making alliance with them, Singh said whatever he (Rahul Gandhi) has said, it doesn't reflect the popular sentiments of the people of Jammu and Kashmir or even people of India at large.
"Whatever he said doesn't reflect the popular sentiments of the people of J-K or even people of India at large. In fact, the youth are very keen on joining the developmental part led by Prime Minister Modi. Look at the statistics we have. So many toppers from the militancy-affected areas. They know that their future lies with this caravan and they don't want to miss out on these opportunities," he added.
Echoing similar sentiment, another BJP leader Ram Madav said the problems in Kashmir are due to decades of the Congress misrule and due to his grandfather's policies
"He (Rahul) must read up. He neither reads nor knows anything. We are trying to clean up the mess created by Jawaharlal Nehru down the line by successive Congress party," he said.
Gandhi, who is on his two-week visit to the U.S., addressed the students of University of California, Berkeley on ' India at 70: Reflections on the Path Forward', and said that when the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), led by the Congress, was in power, he had worked with former prime minister Manmohan Singh and senior leaders like P. Chidambaram and Jairam Ramesh to resolve the problems facing Jammu and Kashmir for nine years.
"For nine years, I worked behind the scenes with former prime minister Manmohan Singh, P. Chidambaram, Jairam Ramesh and others on Jammu and Kashmir. When we started, terrorism was rampant in Kashmir, when we finished there was peace, we had broken the back of terrorism. By 2013, we basically broke the back of terror, I hugged then prime minister Manmohan Singh and told him it was one of the biggest achievements," he added.
He further said that the People's Democratic Party (PDP) had been instrumental in bringing youngsters in politics, but the day Prime Minister Modi made alliance with the PDP, he destroyed them.
"So he (PM Modi) massively opened up the space for the terrorists in Kashmir, and you saw the increase in violence," he added.
Rahul further said that the Congress government had given the Kashmiri youth a "vision" and employment opportunities
Gandhi would interact with global thinkers and political leaders, and address overseas Indians as part of an outreach initiative by his party, during his U.S. visit.