New Delhi: Categorically denouncing the government abrogating the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) Tuesday night decided after a four-hour long brain-storming session to call for a larger meeting of the party leaders here Friday evening to ensure the party speaks in one voice and prepares for a nationwide protest over destruction of “the very idea of India being a union of states”.
The CWC, attended among others by Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Dr Manmohan Singh, was quite upset over a score of young and senior party leaders welcoming removal of Article 370 and felt this happened because of a delay in the party announcing its stand immediately after Home Minister Amit Shah unveiled the government’s diabolic Kashmir plan.
The leaders present at the CWC meeting said the party was concerned over the public postures of the seniors like former Haryana CM Bhupinder Hooda and former AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi and young leaders like AICC general secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia and Mumbai Congress leader Milind Deora.
As a sequel, Congress organising general secretary K C Venugopal penned a letter stating that "it has been decided to hold a meeting of General Secretaries, in-charges of the states, state unit chiefs, CLP leaders, chairpersons of AICC departments and cells and Congress MPs on Friday at 6 pm to discuss abrogation of Article 370 and future course of action".
The CWC meeting that went on till 11.30 PM on Tuesday asserted in a resolution that it deplores "the unilateral, brazen and totally undemocratic manner in which Article 370 of the Constitution was abrogated and the state of Jammu and Kashmir was dismembered by misinterpreting the provisions of the Constitution".
"Every principle of Constitutional law, states’ rights, parliamentary procedure and democratic governance was violated," it said stressing that Article 370 is the Constitutional recognition of the terms of the instrument of accession signed by then Maharaja and it must be honoured until amended after consultations with all sections of the people and strictly in accordance with the Constitution of India.
It noted that Article 370 was conceived and crafted by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Dr B R Ambedkar, N Gopalaswamy Iyengar and V P Menon to honour that instrument of accession.
The resolution decried the government for the way it accomplished the task in both the Houses of Parliament for having grave implications not only for J&K but "into question of the very idea of India being a Union of India". It said J&K had acceded to India as one State and no government has the powers to change its status by dividing it and reducing any part of it as a union territory.
Asserting that "integration of J&K with India is final and irrevocable" and urging the people of the state to maintain peace, the resolution said: "The Congress pledges to stand with the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and fight the BJP and its divisive and diabolical agenda with every power in its hands".
The CWC also reaffirmed its consistent position that J&K, including the areas under illegal occupation of Pakistan and the part ceded by it to China are "integral part of the Republic of India". Its resolution further affirmed that "integration of J&K with India is final and irrevocable and all issues pertaining to J&K are internal matters of India and no outside interference will be tolerated".
The leaders present at the CWC meeting said the party was concerned over the public postures of the seniors like former Haryana CM Bhupinder Hooda and former AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi and young leaders like AICC general secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia and Mumbai Congress leader Milind Deora