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Article 370: Several Congress leaders support government on Jammu and Kashmir

Jyotiraditya Scindia, Janardan Dwivedi, Deepinder Hooda among those who spoke out in support of scrapping special powers to J&K

The Telegraph New Delhi Published 06.08.19, 05:38 PM
Sonia and Rahul Gandhi during a Congress Working Committee meeting in New Delhi on August 6.

Sonia and Rahul Gandhi during a Congress Working Committee meeting in New Delhi on August 6. PTI

Several leaders in a headless Congress today spoke out in favour of scrapping Jammu and Kashmir's special privileges under Article 370 and supported the carving up of the state into two Union territories, showing the first public signs of differences and chaos within the party.

Their statements came on a day Rahul Gandhi, who has refused to head the party anymore, tweeted against the government's move. 'National integration isn’t furthered by unilaterally tearing apart J&K, imprisoning elected representatives and violating our Constitution. This nation is made by its people, not plots of land. This abuse of executive power has grave implications for our national security,' Rahul tweeted a full day after the Narendra Modi-led government struck the double sledgehammer blows on Kashmir.


Among the leaders who supported the government's move was Jyotirditya Scindia, who tweeted out his stand. Scindia, seen as a young leader close to Rahul who was given partial charge of Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha elections, wrote: 'I support the move on #JammuAndKashmir & #Ladakh and its full integration into 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.'

Scindia's tweet this evening immediately attracted heavy trolling and some asked what his intentions were.

Written with PTI inputs

The Congress MLA from Rae Bareli, Aditi Singh, was among the earliest in the Congress to support the move.'United we stand! Jai Hind. #Article370,' she tweeted on August 5.

The Rae Bareli Lok Sabha constituency is held by Sonia Gandhi.

When someone pointed out to Singh on Twitter that she was a Congress leader, she replied: 'Main ek Hindustani hoon (I am an Indian).'

But Scindia was not the only Congress leader to differ from the party's stated position.

Congress's chief whip in the Rajya Sabha Bhubaneshwar Kalita quit his membership in the Upper House over the issue after the party asked him to issue a whip to all members for opposing the bill.

Congress leaders Janardan Dwivedi, Anil Shastri and Deepender Hooda also voiced their support on the government's move.

Dwivedi said that although the move came late, a historical mistake had been corrected.

Anil Shastri tweeted: 'Congress must sense the mood of the people and then take a stand. The people are totally with the government on this issue. We opposed Mandal and lost UP and Bihar and should not risk now of losing India.'

Hooda said the steps were 'in the interest of national integrity'. 'It (Article 370) has no place in the 21st century,' he said.

Mumbai Congress chief Milind Deora was more cautious. 'Parties should put aside ideological fixations & debate what's best for India's sovereignty and federalism, peace in J&K, jobs for Kashmiri youth and justice for Kashmiri Pandits,' he said in a tweet. '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.'

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