The Modi government’s masterstroke to scrap Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir is turning into a Catch-22 situation for the Congress party. Though the party opposed the decision in the Parliament, it was faced with embarrassment from its own leaders who openly backed the Modi government’s move.
On Thursday, party’s former president Rahul Gandhi called a press briefing but didn’t speak anything on the issue. When reporters continuously questioned Rahul about his views on Article 370, he replied, “Disturb mat kijiye (Don’t disturb me)”.
Rahul has so far maintained silence on the matter. He even didn’t participate in the debate in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. However, the same day he had tweeted on the issue as he slammed the Centre over the arrest of former CMs Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah. Describing the arrest of Mufti and Omar as “unconstitutional and undemocratic”, he had said the government’s “short-sighted” action will allow terrorists to fill the leadership vacuum.
The same day, he had chaired the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the highest-decision making body of the grand old party, to discuss the matter. The CWC passed a resolution denouncing scrapping of Article 370, terming the provision as the “Constitutional recognition of the Instrument of Accession between the state of Jammu and Kashmir and India”.
Meanwhile, the Congress party has called a meeting of its top leaders in Delhi to discuss the party’s stand on government’s decision to scrap Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir and divide the state into two Union Territories. The party is said to be upset over the rift in its ranks with many key leaders backing the government. Multiple media reports say that the party is likely to seek clarifications from the leaders. The Congress leaders who have supported the Modi government’s decision include Jyotiraditya Scindia, Deepender Singh Hooda, Milind Deora, Janaradan Dwivedi, Anil Shastri, Aditi Singh (Rae Bareli MLA) and others.