NEW DELHI: In a rare show of solidarity with PM Narendra Modi and his government, Congress on Sunday said it was in “complete agreement” with the stand taken by the government on Pakistan and the continuing threat of terrorism.
“We congratulate the PM for reiterating India’s firm and consistent position that the state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and its accession is final and irrevocable. We endorse the official position that all issues pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir are India’s internal affairs and there is no question of any third party meddling,” senior Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said.
Charged with being “anti-national” and “pro-Pakistan” on the issue of abrogation of Article 370 in J&K, Congress came out more aggressively in its attack on the neighbour on Sunday. It condemned the “provocative and preposterous statement” made by Pakistani PM Imran Khan at the UNGA, which Sharma said was aimed at “misleading international opinion using falsehood and fabrication of facts to defame India”.
“The language of Pakistan PM was unbecoming of a prime minister and has no place in any civilised discourse,” he added.
The strong Congress comment came as Pakistan yet again slammed the Modi government for scratching J&K’s special status and even cited a “Congress home minister” to say that RSS camps were used to train terrorists.
Pakistan’s continued focus on Kashmir creates complications for Congress and other political parties who have come down heavily on the Centre for abrogation of Article 370.
The situation fits the BJP gameplan to claim a convergence between its domestic political rivals and the recalcitrant neighbour.
Earlier, Pakistan had cited Rahul Gandhi’s critical comments in its petition on Kashmir to the UN, and the move was seized by BJP, led by home minister Amit Shah, to allege that his stand was helping the enemy nation.
There is a realisation in Congress that Kashmir presents a tricky turf given Pakistan’s interest in it and BJP’s “sly political campaign”. But senior party managers say their stand is based on “national interest” and it can do little about extraneous factors.
It is because of this political trap, coupled with strong public sentiment over Kashmir in the country, that many Congress leaders chose to break from the party stance and came out in open support of abrogation of Article 370.
However, after much brainstorming within, which included a session of the Congress Working Committee, the leadership decided to stick to its stand and to keep questioning the Centre about the lockdown imposed in Kashmir.