Congress leader Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia called for plebiscite in India-held Kashmir, Press Trust of India (PTI) reported on Thursday.

“In Kashmir today, there is a need for ‘rai shumari’,” Scindia said in his address to Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s parliament.

“PDP-BJP government has shed all the principles. Administration is divided and the government, which should support people, is using weapons against them.”

Jammu and Kashmir People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are in a coalition government in the disputed territory.

However, hours after his address in the parliament, Scindia had to issue a clarification, saying that by rai shumari he meant “dialogue”.

“I have never said there should be plebiscite. I have said there should be dialogue,” Scindia was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

Meanwhile, authorities in India-held Kashmir have shut down printing presses and temporarily banned newspapers from publishing in a sweeping information blackout after days of anti-India protests left dozens of people dead in the region.

Local human rights groups and newspapers say at least 40 have died in clashes between protesters and security forces.

A strict curfew has been in effect in troubled areas for over two weeks, with hundreds of thousands of people trying to cope with shortages of food and other necessities.

Tens of thousands of Indian government troops patrolled mostly deserted streets in the region, where shops and businesses remained closed.

Since 1989, more than 68,000 people have been killed in the uprising against Indian rule and the subsequent Indian military crackdown.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. Both claim the Himalayan territory in full and have fought two wars over its control.