In a massive blow to the Congress Party, its Chief Whip, Bhubaneshwar Kalita in the Rajya Sabha (RS) tendered his resignation today, which was accepted by RS chairman Venkaiah Naidu.
I have resigned from the Rajya Sabha membership today. #Assam
— Bhubaneswar Kalita (@BKalitaINC) August 5, 2019
Reportedly, the senior Assam Congress leader was upset over Congress’ stand to oppose the Centre’s decision on Jammu and Kashmir. He stated that Congress’ stand on this issue was “against the people’s feelings” and that the party seemed “ hell-bent on political suicide.”
Congress MP Bhubaneswar Kalita resigns from Rajya Sabha over his party’s stand on Kashmir issue. pic.twitter.com/OTjKcJI2oe
— Prasar Bharati News Services (@PBNS_India) August 5, 2019
In his letter, Kalita states that Congress had asked him to issue a whip on the Centre’s decision on Jammu and Kashmir but the fact is that the entire country’s sentiments were changing and this whip will be “against the people’s sentiments.”
He furthers that even Jawaharlal Nehru had once said that Article 370 will seize to exist one day. He went on to say that by opposing this decision, Congress is ‘hell-bent on political suicide’ and I refuse to be a part of this, which is why I tendered my resignation.
“Congress will be ruined under its present leadership and I firmly believe that nobody can save the grand old party from getting totally destroyed and wiped out,” wrote the former Assam Congress president.
With Kalita’s resignation, the rift within the Congress party becomes evident. Previously too, when the Triple Talaq Bill was presented in Rajya Sabha, 5 of its members had abstained despite Congress issuing a whip to ensure the presence of all its members during the voting on the bill.
Even then, despite severe objections from the Congress party and others, BJP had managed to get the contentious Triple Talaq Bill passed in the Rajya Sabha. Subsequently, with the presidential nod, the bill became law.
Going by its penchant, Congress heavily opposed the Centre’s move to repeal Article 370 today. Voting on the Bill in Rajya Sabha is set to take place today. It would be interesting to watch the BJP government recreate history like it recently did during the Triple Talaq bill.