Congress top leaders meet in Delhi to discuss stand on Jammu and Kashmir

File photo of Sonia Gandhi
The Congress Working Committee met late Tuesday with top leaders deliberating on the party's strategy on Jammu and Kashmir going forward after the government revoked its special status and bifurcated the border state into two Union Territories.

The meeting, attended by Congress parliamentary party leader Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, former home minister P Chidambaram, Priyanka Gandhi, among others, was held soon after the government secured Parliament's approval for its move on J&K.

The meeting of the Congress's top decision-making body comes after the party took a stand against the government action, while several Congress leaders such as Jyotiraditya Scindia and Janardan Dwivedi struck a divergent view and supported the Centre's action.

Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who earlier in the day stoked a controversy as he sought to know from the government whether Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter or a bilateral issue, also attended the meeting.

The Congress strongly opposed the move and the bill to bifurcate the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories in both houses of Parliament and accused the government of taking the step when its state assembly was dissolved.

It also termed the decision unconstitutional.

However, just ahead of the meeting, Scindia said he supported the move on Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and the state's full integration into the Union of India, adding that it was in the interest of the country.

"I support the move on #JammuAndKashmir & #Ladakh and its full integration into union of India," he tweeted.

"Would have been better if constitutional process had been followed. No questions could have been raised then. Nevertheless, this is in our country's interest and I support this," he said.

While the meeting was on, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma put out a tweet saying Jammu and Kashmir joined the Indian Union as a state.

"BJP govt ill thought decision of dividing the state and downgrading the strategically sensitive state is a first in history and changes geography and humiliates the people of Jammu and Kashmir," he said.

The CWC was also expected to pass a resolution on the situation arising out of the government's move on Jammu and Kashmir.

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