Raipur: The Congress skipped any mention of Article 370 in it’s political resolution passed in the party’s ongoing 85th plenary session in Raipur Saturday, even as it maintained that it would strive to restore complete statehood for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
In August 2019, the Congress Working Committee had passed a resolution deploring “undemocratic abrogation” of Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The abrogation of the article by the Narendra Modi government in 2019, was followed by the bifurcation of the erstwhile state into the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
While the resolution in its 85th plenary, coming ahead of next year’s scheduled Lok Sabha elections, spoke about the restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir and sought to bring Ladakh under the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution — which provides for the administration of certain tribal areas by autonomous district councils — it remained silent on Article 370.
At a meeting of the CWC following the 2019 resolution, some senior Congress leaders were said to have expressed a view divergent to what was adopted by the Committee. According to party sources, former party president Rahul Gandhi had said at the time that while the party respected the views of leaders who were stating their position based on the sentiments of their respective states, the party would have to go by its ideology.
Thereafter, in 2020, senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram had demanded that the article be restored.
However, since then, while the Congress has spoken about restoring statehood to J&K, it has been ambiguous about whether or not it would push for article 370 to be restored.
The issue had also come up during Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, when the leader was in Kashmir last month for the final leg of the yatra. The former party president was asked by the media several times about the party’s position on the restoration of the article. Gandhi responded by saying that his position and that of the party’s is that of the CWC resolution passed in 2019, but refused to elaborate further or give a straight answer to whether or not the Congress would push for restoration of the Article.
(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)
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