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Abrogation of Article 370 ‘death of democracy as it was done without consent of state’: Digvijaya

Senior Congress leader also raked up his earlier question on surgical strike death toll, saying he posed this question to central govt, not army.

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New Delhi: The abrogation of Article 370 was the “death of democracy” because it was done without the consent of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said Tuesday.

The Congress MP also raked up questions about the 2019 surgical strike, saying that he maintains his stance even when the party and Rahul Gandhi have dissociated from his comments and added that he is asking questions from the government, and not the army.

Singh said it is due to Congress party’s internal democracy that he is free to have his own opinion.

“My question is not to the army, I have been a well-wisher of the armed forces. My question is to the Defence Minister and the Central government who were citing different figures on how many people died during the surgical strike. I was only asking the government that it should tell exactly how many people died in the strike,” Singh said at Lokmat Conclave in Delhi while commenting on Indian democracy.

It was during the Bharat Jodo Yatra in January that Singh made comments on the Balakot airstrike and came under criticism. Senior Congress leaders, including party president Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi, had dissociated themselves from his comments.

On Tuesday, Singh asserted that the abrogation of Article 370 should have been first passed in the J&K Assembly.

“It would have been right if the decision was passed in Kashmir’s assembly. No constitutional amendment should be done without the consent of states, and India is a union of states,” he said.

Singh asserted that he has never received any notice from the party because whatever he speaks is always in its interest.

In its 85th plenary session at Raipur last month, the Congress party skipped any mention of Article 370 in its political resolution and maintained that it would strive to restore complete statehood for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Regarding the Operation Lotus that led to the fall of the Kamal Nath government in 2020, the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister said Jyotiraditya Scindia did not go because he was disillusioned by the Congress, but because he was an “opportunist”.

“Just a week before, he (Scindia) was praising the Congress government’s debt waiver scheme and distributing cheques. Did he get disillusioned just in a week? It was due to his opportunitism and BJP’s bait,” Singh claimed.

Addressing the tussle between senior leader Rajesh Pilot and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in Rajasthan, Singh said whoever is the aggrieved person, should go to the party’s disciplinary committee.

On the question of Hindu Rashtra, Singh said it was not possible in the interest of the country to turn into a Hindu Rashtra. “Pakistan is an Islamic country. Look at what state they are in,” he said.

(Edited by Tony Rai)

Also Read: Why Congress road map for 2024 doesn’t include govt-funded pension scheme it has resurrected in states


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