Congress fails to take a coherent stand on Kashmir

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 06, 2019

The Congress is struggling to find a common stand on the abrogation of Article 370 by the BJP-led government. Many senior leaders of the party have taken a different view than that of the key speakers who presented party’s argument in both the Houses of Parliament. The resignation of Rajya Sabha Chief Whip of the party Bhubaneshwar Kalita, apparently after the refusal to issue whips to party MPs to vote against the Bill, has also embarrassed the Congress leadership.

The party’s current stand in Parliament was designed by former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, who said that Article 370 played a crucial role in integrating the people of Kashmir with the mainstream Indian society. The party had also raised serious questions on the bifurcation of the State.

The Congress Working Committee met here on Tuesday to take stock of the situation after the passage of the Bill in the Lok Sabha.

While Kalita resigned from the party and from the Rajya Sabha, many senior leaders have taken a different stand from the official position and aired their views publicly.

Former general secretary Janardan Dwivedi welcomed the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and said it was a historical mistake that had to be corrected. “Ram Manohar Lohia, from whom I received political training, was always against this Article. A mistake of history has been corrected today, albeit late,” Dwivedi said. AICC general secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia said he supports the Centre’s move. “I support the move on #JammuAndKashmir & #Ladakh and its full integration into the Union of India. Would have been better if constitutional process had been followed. No questions could have been raised then. Nevertheless, this is in our country’s interest and I support this,” he tweeted.

‘Another DeMo-like move’

Party’s Mumbai unit President Milind Deora said “Abolishing Article 370 of the Indian Constitution could well be dubbed Modi Sarkar 2.0’s demonetisation moment. For the sake of peace and development in Jammu & Kashmir, I hope this decision plays out more favourably than demonetisation did,” Deora said.

Published on August 06, 2019

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