As the BJP government’s bold move to strip Article 370 and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir garnered wide support across the political spectrum, there has been a visible confusion within the Congress regarding their stand on this issue.
While many Congress members, including their ex-president, Rahul Gandhi opposed the decision several leaders including Jyotiraditya Scindia, Deepender Hooda, Aditi Singh and Milind Deora, stood in favour of the Centre’s decision.
Moreover, Congress’ Chief Whip, Bhubaneshwar Kalita had resigned from the Rajya Sabha stating that Congress’ move to oppose the Government’ decision was a “political suicide”
To clear the confusion and to come across as an integrated party, the Congress Working Committee (CWC), in a meeting held late Tuesday passed a resolution condemning the government’s actions.
Resolution adopted by the Congress Working Committee on the undemocratic abrogation by the BJP Govt of Article 370 of the Constitution of India. pic.twitter.com/6yugfhL7Wk
— Congress (@INCIndia) August 6, 2019
The resolution read, “The CWC deplores the unilateral, brazen and totally undemocratic manner in which provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution was abrogated and the state of Jammu and Kashmir was dismembered by misinterpreting the provisions of the Constitution”.
The Congress accused the BJP of violating constitutional law, the states’ rights, parliamentary procedure and democratic governance.
The meeting of the CWC was held soon after the Parliament approved the government’s action of revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the border state into two Union Territories.
It was chaired by Rahul Gandhi, who has already resigned from the post of the Congress president weeks ago and was attended by top party leaders Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, A K Antony, Ahmed Patel, Ghulam Nabi Azad, P Chidambaram and Priyanka Gandhi. Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who yesterday stoked controversy by calling Jammu and Kashmir a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan, also attended the meeting.
It is notable here that despite ‘resigning’ from the party president post weeks ago and declaring several times that he does not wish to be party president anymore, Rahul Gandhi is still effectively the Congress President because he has not accepted his own resignation yet.
The resolution said that Article 370 was conceived and crafted by former PM Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhai Patel and BR Ambedkar, assisted by N Gopalaswamy Iyengar and VP Menon.
It said that it should have been “honoured until it was amended, after consultation with all section of the people, and strictly in accordance with the Constitution of India”.
The Congress said that it ‘pledges to stand with the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and to fight BJP’s divisive and diabolical agenda’.
The CWC said what the BJP government accomplished yesterday in the Rajya Sabha and today in the Lok Sabha has “grave implications” going well beyond J&K and calls into question the very idea of India being a Union of States.
“Jammu and Kashmir acceded to India as one State and no government has the power to change its status or divide it or reduce any part of it to a Union Territory,” the party said.
This resolution adopted by Congress seems more like an afterthought to save the party’s reputation which was being put at stake by few party veterans, who either remained ununited on Article 370, pandering to Pakistan, dissing Sardar Patel and singing ‘Nehru-Indira-Chalisa.