Before his Bharat Jodo Yatra enters Jammu and Kashmir, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi should apologise to the nation, especially the people of the Union territory, for the "sins committed by his family and party" in the region over the last 70 years, the BJP said on Wednesday.
BJP's J&K unit chief Ravinder Raina alleged that the Congress has been sympathetic to parties who supported terrorism and asserted that it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has "truly united the country", while the opposition party has done otherwise.
“Gandhi family and Congress have made historic blunders related to Jammu and Kashmir and are directly responsible for the eruption of terrorism which has consumed thousands of lives.”
"Before entering J&K, Gandhi should apologise to the nation, especially people of J&K, over the mistakes and sins of the party which it committed over the past 70 years," Mr. Raina told reporters here.
He referred to the now-scrapped special status under Article 370, the permit system, the exile of the last Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh and the "denying of rights" to various communities including refugees from West Pakistani and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), Valmikis, Gorkhas and Paharis.
"The atrocities committed by the Gandhi-led Congress family cannot be forgotten. There is a long list of how they humiliated and jailed the nationalists who campaigned against its wrong policies," he alleged.
He said Mr. Gandhi should also answer why the nation was divided in 1947.
"Major parts of Kashmir and Ladakh are under illegal occupation of Pakistan, while Aksai Chin is under illegal occupation of China. He should tell the people who are responsible for this." "They have stabbed 'Bharat Mata' in the back. They were sympathetic to the parties who supported terrorism and arrested the nationalist among Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus who tried to unfurl the national flag in Lal Chowk (Srinagar) during their rule," the BJP leader alleged.
However, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi provided justice to all sections of society including women who were also being deprived of their rights.
The BJP also facilitated and strengthened grassroots level democracy in J&K by holding panchayat elections and empowered institutions by implementing necessary amendments.
"Modi has truly united the country, while Congress has done otherwise," he claimed.
The Bharat Jodo Yatra, which started from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on September 7, will conclude in Srinagar by January 30, with Gandhi hoisting the national flag.
AICC J&K in-charge Rajni Patil had on Tuesday said the Yatra will enter Lakhanpur in Jammu and Kashmir from Punjab Thursday evening.
"After halting for the night, Gandhi will lead the yatra from Hatli Morh in Kathua from 7 am the next morning (January 20)," Ms. Patil said, adding that the rally will reach Jammu on January 23.