The top brass of the Congress party is taking a line similar to that peddled by Pakistan government and media on the abolition of Article 370. Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury made a controversial statement on the floor of the Lok Sabha after he claimed that Article 370 is not an internal matter of India. “You say that it is an internal matter. But it is being monitored since 1948 by the UN, is that an internal matter? We signed the Shimla Agreement & Lahore Declaration, was that an internal matter or bilateral?” said Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.
Watch | "How can #JammuAndKashmir be an internal matter?… The entire party wants to be enlightened by you": Congress's Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury in Lok Sabha
— NDTV (@ndtv) August 6, 2019
India does agree with the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP)’s mandate and has clarified that it is no longer relevant after the Shimla Agreement. Even Pakistan does not recognize the mandate of UNMOGIP. India has already restricted the UNMOGIP’s activities to 45 unarmed people on the Indian side of the border and had told the UN that the mandate of the organization has lapsed after Shimla agreement.
The Pakistani government has said that the abolition of 370 has violated Shimla agreement which argues that all the matters related to Kashmir issue should be resolved ‘Bilaterally’.
Cong’s LS leader Adhir Ranjan Choudhury makes mortifying gaffe, asks: ‘If Indira did Shimla Agreement & Vajpayee did Lahore declaration, then how is #Article370 internal issue, when #UNMOGIP monitoring?” @AmitShah retorts, “Please confirm if that’s @INCIndia’s official position.”
— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) August 6, 2019
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury received flak from the BJP and NDA for his statement. Amit Shah slammed the Congress party and asked whether Chowdhury’s statement is the official position of the Congress party over the issue. Hitting back at the Congress leader, Amit Shah said, “Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of the Union of India.”
Amit Shah also asserted that PoK and Aksai Chin are part of Jammu and Kashmir. Amit Shah said, “Jaan de denge iske liye! When I say J&K it also includes PoK. The boundaries of J&K as mentioned in our constitution includes PoK and Aksai Chin.”
The statement of Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has left the Congress red-faced. At a time when the international community has accepted the official position of India, Congress chooses to differ from the view of the government. The United States had told the Pakistani government about the official position of India and did not make any further comments. “We note that the Indian government has described these actions as strictly an internal matter,” said State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus.
The countries and organizations across the world except for Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have restrained themselves from making any official statement on the matter. The silence means that they support the decision of the Government of India and accept that the country has not violated any international norms or treaty.
In an article published with the title ‘On Article 370, India hasn’t violated any international treaty. That’s why world won’t react’, defense analyst Abhijit Iyer Mitra explains why Modi government’s move will not be opposed by any country. According to him, the US will not react to the Modi government’s move and most countries except China and Russia will follow its lead.
The abolition of Article 370 is not the only issue where Congress has opposed the general sentiment of the people of India. The party chose not to stand with the majority opinion on Triple Talaq Bill, it also expressed doubts over Balakot airstrike by Modi government.
The Congress party is divided over the issue of abolition of Article 370 and bifurcation of the state of Jammu & Kashmir in two union territories. There are some leaders of the party who have supported the Modi government’s decision as they see it as a matter of national importance. However, the elitist top brass of the Congress is not ready to support the abrogation and bifurcation.
The common Congress members feel that the party is hell-bent on making itself irrelevant in emerging nationalist India. The official stand of the party on important national issues is not in sync with that of general populace. If the Congress party does not choose to ‘realign’ itself on the ideological spectrum, soon the party will die.
With the statement made by Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Congress has proven again that it has lost touch from the rest of India. Even many opposition parties including BSP and YSRCP have backed the government on the issue but Congress has decided to go against it.
The official stand of the party on ideological issues has ensured that it will not come back to power for another few decades. The new emerging India wants non-dynastic, corruption-free, nationalist government, a government which could make the people safe, secure, and enables them to become prosperous. The Congress party has failed to stand for these principles.