Revocation of Article 370 is one of the biggest political decisions in the history of India. It has got everyone in the country involved and even global leaders are talking about it. While the majority of political parties have supported revocation of Article 370, other parties including Congress, TMC, NCP, and JDU have voiced their opinions against the move. Surprisingly, BJP has got support from rivals such as AAP, TDP and BSP. Other non-NDA parties that have supported government’s decision include YSR Congress and Biju Janata Dal (BJD).
For Congress, revocation of Article 370 has presented many challenges. The party appears to be divided over the issues of Article 370, as several Congress leaders have come out in support of the government’s recent move. Article 370 was included in the constitution in 1954, allowing special status to Jammu & Kashmir and special privileges such as separateconstitution, state flag and control over state administration. However, with Article 370 removed, Jammu & Kashmir will be governed by Indian constitution. The region has also been reorganized into two separate Union Territories – Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh.
While the government has received support from within the country and from international leaders as well, Congress continues to protest against the government’s decision. However, not all Congress leaders are speaking the same language. Some Congress leaders have openly supported government’s action on Article 370, which clearly shows that Congress is now a divided house. Here’s what some Congress leaders said about their support for removal of Article 370.
Janardhan Dwivedi: Senior Congress leader Janardhan Dwivedi has supported the removal of Article 370. He said that the decision should have come a lot earlier, but even then he welcomes it. He said that his political guru Ram Manohar Lohia also wanted Article 370 to be removed.
Jyotiraditya Scindia: Congress general secretary and close aide of Rahul Gandhi, Jyotiraditya Scindia has supported removal of Article 370. Scindia however said that things could have been done in a better way by consulting other parties on the issue. Nonetheless, he said he will support it, as it is in the interest of the country.
Bhubaneswar Kalita: Congress chief whip in the Rajya Sabha, Bhubaneswar Kalita has strongly supported government’s move to remove Article 370. He even quit his membership after he was asked by Congress to issue a whip to all members to vote against the bill. Later he quit from Congress party and has joined BJP. Kalita has said that Congress opposing removal of Article 370 was against the mood and wishes of the nation.
Bhupinder Singh Hooda: Senior Congress leader and former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda strongly condemned his party’s stand on removal of Article 370. Hooda said that the Congress party has lost its path. Such statements by top Congress leaders can be very damaging for the party, especially when assembly elections in Haryana are scheduled for this year.
Anil Shastri: Son of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and senior Congress leader, Anil Shastri said that Congress should work to achieve what people want. He said that most people are with the government on Article 370 and opposing the same will harm the Congress party.
Milind Deora: Congress party’s Mumbai chief Milind Deora said that parties need to unite in matters of national interest. He said that removal of Article 370 will create jobs for Kashmiri youths and provide justice to Kashmiri Pandits.
Deepender Hooda: A Congress MP from Rohtak, Deepender Hooda said that he was always in favor of removing Article 370. He said that such rules have no place in the modern world. He explained that removal of Article 370 will be beneficial for people of J&K and will help promote national integrity.
Even when several top leaders in the Congress party have supported the government’s move on Article 370, Congress continues to oppose removal of Article 370. This clearly shows that decisions in the party are being taken by a select few and there’s an ulterior motive of securing a particular vote bank. Such decisions by Congress won’t go well with the masses and it might perform even worse in the next general elections. By opposing removal of Article 370, Congress appears to have put its own interests first above the interests of the nation.