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Voice of Dissent or Opportunism? UP Congress Leader NP Singh Quits over Party’s Stand on Article 370

Singh sent his resignation letter to UPCC chief Raj Babbar on Tuesday evening, hours after the Narendra Modi government passed a resolution to repeal Article 370 that granted special status to J&K and bifurcate the state into two Union Territories.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18.com@qazifarazahmad

Updated:August 8, 2019, 8:38 AM IST
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Voice of Dissent or Opportunism? UP Congress Leader NP Singh Quits over Party’s Stand on Article 370
Representative image.

Lucknow: The Kashmir issue has further widened the cracks in the grand old party and resignations seemed to have become the order of the day in the Congress.

The latest to add his name to the list of quitters is Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) general secretary NP Singh, who put in his papers as he was upset over the stand taken by the party on the entire issue.

A resident of Meerut, Singh sent his resignation letter to UPCC chief Raj Babbar on Tuesday evening, hours after the Narendra Modi government passed a resolution to repeal Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate the state into two Union Territories.

“In view of the stand taken by the Congress party on the scrapping of articles 370 and 35A in Kashmir in Parliament, which is against the national interest and also against unity and integrity of our country, I resign from the post of general secretary of UPCC and also from the party’s primary membership with immediate effect,” Singh wrote in his letter.

UPCC spokesperson Sachin Rawat said, “NP Singh was appointed as general secretary of UPCC during the tenure of Nirmal Khatriji. He has not been an active member of the party lately and his resignation doesn’t affect the Congress at any level. Such people wait for time to switch sides and also try to gain some media attention by tendering their resignations with such excuses.”

Two days ago, the Congress’ Rajya Sabha MP and chief whip Bhubaneshwar Kalita resigned from the membership of the House opposing the party's stand on the issue.

“I was asked by the party to issue a whip but this is against the mood of the nation. The party is as it is on its way towards destruction and I can’t be a contributor to it,” he said in a letter.

Earlier, senior Congress leaders Jyotiraditya Scindia and Deepender Hooda and Raebareli MLA Aditi Singh had spoken in support of the scrapping of Article 370.

Deviating from her party’s stand on the issue, Singh wrote on Twitter, “United We Stand! Jai Hind #Article370”. When reminded that she was from the Congress, Singh said, “Main ek Hindustani hoon (I am an Indian).”

The Rae Bareli MLA told News18, “In my individual and personal capacity, I think that now Jammu and Kashmir will be safer and will also bring the state into the mainstream.”

She said the decision was “historic” as long as there were no attempts to suppress the voice of locals. The government should also acutely observe the situation on the ground to ensure that the people of Jammu & Kashmir did not have any problems, she said, adding, “This is more about the national interest issue and not a political issue.”

On Tuesday, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi had spoken out against the manner in which the government decided to do away with Article 370.

He wrote on Twitter, “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.”

The Narendra Modi government's decision to strip Jammu & Kashmir of its special status saw several parties break ranks. Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) pledged its unequivocal support to the move, while ally JD(U) decided to boycott the bill, saying the BJP should look at building consensus.

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| Edited by: Sohini Goswami
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