Congress confusion over Article 370 overshadows CWC meet (Lead)

New Delhi, Aug 6 (IANS) A meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party's top decision-making body, called on Tuesday to discuss the BJP government's decision to revoke Article 370, seemed to echo the split in the party over the issue.

According to a senior party leader, who did not wish to be named, said: "The party seems to be confused over the issue of Article 370."

Citing the divergent views between party leaders over the issue of revoking Article 370 which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcation of the state, he said that the party's communication between its leaders failed completely.

The party leader further said that the first crack in the party was visible when Congress whip in Rajya Sabha Bhubaneswar Kalita resigned from the membership of Upper House just before Union Home Minister Amit Shah moved the resolution to revoke Article 370 from J&K.

He said the second communication gap was visible in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday when Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi and outgoing party chief Rahul Gandhi were surprised by the stand of party's leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.

He said even during the CWC meeting, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra wore a tense look on her face and also did not interact with party members.

He further said that Priyanka Gandhi, who earlier use to come with Rahul Gandhi and mother Sonia Gandhi to the CWC meeting also came alone for the meeting on Tuesday evening.

Senior Congress leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad, P. Chidambaram, and Kapil Sibal spoke against the resolution to revoke Article 370 in the Rajya Sabha on Monday. But there were many others who favoured the idea of scrapping it.

Rahul Gandhi has also taken a balanced stand on the Article 370 issue as he said that "nation is made by its people, not plots of land".

"National integration is not 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," he said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, party leaders like Anil K Shastri, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Milind Deora, Deepender Singh Hooda, Kuldeep Bishnoi, UP MLA Aditi Singh, Kirti Azad and Bollywood actor and politician Shatrughan Sinha also hailed the government's decision of revoking Article 370.

The party leader further said that the communication gap among the leaders was such that even party national media in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala did not attend the CWC meeting at the party headquarters here.

However, another party leader close to Surjewala said that he did not attend due to poor health.

--IANS

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