Former Congress MP Bhubaneshwar Kalita joins BJP

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Updated: Aug 09, 2019 7:33 PM

Kalita, a former chief whip of the grand old party in Rajya Sabha, resigned from the Congress after it opposed the revocation of special provisions granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370.

Kalita's term in the upper house was slated to end on April 09, 2020. (Twitter Image)Kalita’s term in the upper house was slated to end on April 09, 2020. (Twitter Image)

In a massive embarrassment for Congress, senior leader Bhubaneshwar Kalita on Friday joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the presence of Union Minister and BJP leader Piyush Goyal. Joining the saffron party, Kalita slammed the grand old party over its stand on the abrogation of Article 370. Kalita said that loyal workers of the party had left after knowing the true colour of the party. Kalita, a former chief whip of the grand old party in Rajya Sabha, resigned from the Congress after it opposed the revocation of special provisions granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370.

The Centre also bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories — Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. The grand old party has strongly opposed the scrapping of special provisions under Article 370. It also opposed the bifurcation of the state. After the resignation of Kalita, the strength of Congress in the upper house reduced to 46 out of 245. Kalita was a member of Rajya Sabha from Assam.

Kalita’s term in the upper house was slated to end on April 09, 2020. He became the second leader after Sanjay Sinh, a member of the erstwhile Amethi royal family, who also joined the saffron party.

The Congress is completely divided over its stand on Article 370. While former Congress president Rahul Gandhi opposed the abrogation of special status, party general secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia extended his support to the government. Scindia said that he supported the move on Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and its full integration into the union of India but would have been better if the 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 said in a tweet.

Congress leader Karan Singh also supported the government’s move on Jammu and Kashmir and said that the revocation of provisions of Article 35A needed to be addressed.

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