New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi believes that the public opinion on the Modi government’s decision to scrap Article 370 is divided but his young party colleagues have a different opinion.
At a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party’s apex decision-making body, Tuesday evening, the so-called ‘Young Turks’ launched a virtual revolt against the high command for its refusal to read the public mood.
“Whatever we may think about the government’s decision but the people outside are all for this. We have to face the people in our constituencies,” one of the young leaders is learnt to have said at the meeting.
Former MPs Jyotiraditya Scindia and Deepender Hooda have already gone public with their support for the government’s move on Article 370 even as the Congress was opposing it in Parliament.
At the CWC meeting, the two were joined by Jitin Prasada and R.P.N. Singh in questioning the party line and exhorting the leadership to be cognisant of the public mood.
According to a leader present at the meeting, senior Congressman P. Chidambaram sought to defend the party line, saying people in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the northeast didn’t look at the government’s decision favourably.
Gandhi chipped in, saying there was no uniformity in the public response as he was also getting different views from across the country.
The young guns, however, stuck to their views, striking a discordant note. It was one of the rare occasions when the CWC witnessed a rebellion against the high command’s line, which they felt was completely opposite to “the feeling on the ground” and “mood of the public”.
Also read: Jyotiraditya Scindia backs Modi govt’s Kashmir move as list of Congress dissenters grows
‘Even if they had to amend it…’
As a heated debate ensued at the meeting, senior Congress leaders Mukul Wasnik and Kumari Selja defended the leadership’s stance that Article 370 should not have been revoked.
“After hearing everyone out, Rahul said that even if the government had to amend the Article, proper procedure should have been followed,” another young leader told ThePrint.
Gandhi has been mostly silent on the abrogation of Article 370, though he has sought to call out the “abuse of executive power” by the BJP to revoke it.
The Congress had initially spoken against the abrogation of Article 370, which grants special status to Jammu & Kashmir, with Chidambaram making an impassioned case against the move in Parliament Monday, when the decision was made public. He had called the move a “catastrophic blunder”.
The party’s stance has since been modified to reflect Gandhi’s argument, which suggests the party is just opposed to the procedure followed.
At the meeting Tuesday, the CWC passed a resolution that “deplores the unilateral, brazen and totally undemocratic manner in which Article 370 of the Constitution was abrogated and the State of Jammu and Kashmir was dismembered by misinterpreting the provisions of the Constitution”.
“It (Article 370) deserved to be honoured until it was amended, after consultation with all sections of the people, and strictly in accordance with the Constitution of India,” the resolution added.
Gaurav Gogoi, Congress MP from Assam, told ThePrint that the “humiliation of the people of Kashmir by the government was discussed at length” in the meeting.
“Everyone spoke their mind and, after a very civil conversation, we unanimously passed the resolution,” he added.
Scindia and Hooda’s backing of the Modi government’s decision has been echoed by former and party leaders Janardan Dwivedi, Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Milind Deora.
Rajya Sabha leader of the opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, a former chief minister of J&K, has hit out at the dissenting leaders, asking them to learn the state’s and the party’s “history before staying in the Congress”.
“Jin logon ko J&K ki history ya Congress ki history pata nahi, unse mujhe koi lena dena nahi hai (I don’t have anything to do with those who have no clue about the Congress’ or J&K’s history),” he told the media outside Parliament Tuesday.
Also read: Congress betrayal of Kashmir like Lady Macbeth’s: Vaiko on scrapping of Article 370
Congress party always high jacked or dominated by kashmiri leadership like Shekh Abdullah in past and Gulam Nabi Ajaad in present. Gulam Nabi and his party never bother about the sentiments of the people of India.
Mood of nation is just hysteria created by some section which cannot be interpreted to be good for nation. As a responsible political party Congress should taken stand good for the nation and democracy. I believe Congress to right step.
Congress main base is in the south today. Again congress is making a mistake by allowing its northern india MP’s to dominate. Who is jyotiraditya scindia? or deepender hooda? Both zeroes.
In the south , people are in favor of kashmir autonomy and 370 , and in fact the same should be extended to the south also, so that the south can be free of the barbaric, half literate scum from the north/bjp who are espousing barbaric views like capturing kashmir and abducting/marrying “fair skinned kashmiri women”
What you think it’s all happened for abducting/marrying fair skinned kashmiri women? Sorry to say you urgent need a medical treatment of your brain. You are full of half cocktail knowledge dear.
Barring one or two almost every leader of Congress were in their diapers when we got independence. Hence not one of them ever had anything to do with India’s independence struggle. They can’t bask under the glory of independence struggle. And is this congress? The actual congress was split by Indira Gandhi, losing the party symbol etc.
Leadership is not about simply dancing to the tune of irrational mass euphoria and their inability to understand what is good and bad on the face of Democracy
Revolting is not enough, the young leaders must leave the Congress as they will be wasting their time, energy and money with a party who have lost the ability to read the mood of people of India.
What do you mean by ‘ congress president Rahul Gandhi ‘ ? Hasnt he owned up and resigned ? Furtber, if he has heard that ‘the public opinion is divided ‘ , surely he has been asking the French President !😊
It is good that at least there is a debate with the Congress party instead of blindly following the dynasty.
This is the party That is supposed to represent Muslims.
This party is only the B team of them are RSS.
Such is the poor standard of our education system, that these young Turks do not understand the history of India.
I suppose in the 1930s in Hitler’s Germany, it was very difficult to go against the popular grain Such was the popularity of Adolf Hitler.
The Kashmir issue has separated those of us who are anti-fascists from the quiet BJP supporters.
Where I agree with the BJP is that this party has done much harm to the interest of the Muslim minority since partition.
Also Saddam of Iraq , laden of Al Qaeda , idi Amin of uganda
Congress is opposing the abrogation of the article 370, even after sensing the public mood in favour of the bill, is because this article is one of the heritage item associated with Nehru. I don’t see any other reason for committing the political harakari by the grand old party.
With so many young leaders, as active on ‘Social media’ as Rahul himself, if not more so, saying that the overwhelming opinion is in favour of abrogating Article 370 and approving of the Government’s move, Rahul claims that ‘his’ information is that ‘opinion is divided’. It looks more like Rahul DOES NOT WANT to accept facts as that may seem like ‘surrendering’ to the BJP. If ‘that’ is the criterion for looking at the country’s good, Congress will never ever recover from the present depths to which it has sunk..
Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad fought his last election when some of the people in this photograph were in school. So perhaps they have a better connect with a young India than he does. However, he spoke very well on Article 370. Read today’s edit in IE to get a better, more authentically journalistic view than Gaurav Sawant and Rahul Kanwal are serving up. As it is, most of the young crowd are dynasts, have had everything served to them on a platter. Let them read the history of this party, the ideals it espoused, the sacrifices that were made by earlier generations. The opposition space will never die in a democracy. Let the Congress be very clear what it stands for, how it is different from the ruling party. Next they will be saying the mood of India is okay with lynchings, Indians want Muslims to be shown their place.
Is Rahul Gandhi still the President of his family run party?
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