Kashmir Not Internal Matter, Says Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury in Parliament; Sonia Gandhi Unhappy With Self-Goal
Congress' Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury made the remarks after the Lok Sabha took up the resolution to repeal special status to Jammu and Kashmir and the state reorganisation bill to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories.
Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury speaks in the Lok Sabha as Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi look on. (LSTV/PTI Photo)
New Delhi: In a statement likely to bring embarrassment for the Congress, the party’s leader in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, claimed Kashmir is not India’s internal matter since the UN has been monitoring the situation since 1948.
Chowdhury made the remarks after the Lok Sabha took up the resolution to repeal special status to Jammu and Kashmir and the state reorganisation bill to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories.
“You (government) say that it is an internal matter. But it is being monitored since 1948 by the UN. Is that an internal matter? We signed Shimla Agreement and Lahore Declaration. Was that an internal matter or bilateral?” he asked.
Further, Chowdhury said the “entire Congress party” wants to know the government response.
“S Jaishankar told Mike Pompeo a few days ago that Kashmir is a bilateral matter, so don't interfere in it. Can J&K still be an internal matter? We want to know. Entire Congress party wants to be enlightened by you,” he said.
Hitting back at the opposition leader during the heated exchange, home minister Amit Shah said not only is Jammu and Kashmir an integral part of India, but also includes Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.
“Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of Union of India. Kashmir ki seema mein PoK bhi aata hai... Jaan de denge iske liye! (PoK comes under Kashmir, willing to die for it),” Shah said.
Sources told CNN-News18 that Congress leader and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi was unhappy with Chowdhury’s remark in Parliament and disapproved of the statement.
Chowdhury’s statement is likely to compound Congress’ conundrum on the Kashmir developments with several prominent leaders, including Janardan Dwivedi, Deepender Hooda and Rae Bareli MLA Aditi Singh, backing the government’s move.
While Dwivedi said a "historical mistake" has been corrected by the government, Hooda contended that the abrogation of special status "is in the interest of national integrity".
"It is a very old issue. After Independence, many freedom fighters did not want Article 370 to remain. I had my political training under Dr Ram Manohar Lohia, who was against this Article. Personally, this is an issue of a matter of satisfaction for the nation. This historical mistake that happened at the time of independence has been rectified today, even though late, and is welcomed," Dwivedi said.
He clarified that his opinion was personal and not that of his party.
Reacting to the development, Hooda said, "I've always maintained that Article 370 should be scrapped. It has no place in the 21st century. However, the onus of peaceful implementation of this transition in a trustworthy environment lies on the incumbent government."
Clarifying the party’s official stand 24 hours after Home Minister Amit Shah’s bombshell announcement, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi termed the move “abuse of executive power".
“National integration isn’t furthered by unilaterally tearing apart J&K, imprisoning elected representatives and violating our Constitution. This nation is made by its people, not plots of land. This abuse of executive power has grave implications for our national security,” Gandhi tweeted.
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