Former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda's son and ex-Congress MP Deepender Hooda reportedly supported the Narendra Modi government’s resolution to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, hours after his senior party colleague Janardan Dwivedi backed the move.
Rajya Sabha on Monday approved a resolution revoking the special constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir and passed a Bill to split the state into two Union Territories, as Home Minister Amit Shah promised to restore full statehood after normalcy is restored in the militancy-hit region.
The House passed by a voice vote the resolution to abrogate Article 370 and the accompanying Article 35A ending seven decades of autonomous state government.
The bill to split the state in two UTs-- Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh -- was passed by 125 votes in favour and 61 against. One member abstained from voting while two PDP members were debarred from the day's proceedings after they tore a copy of the Constitution of India in the House to protest against the move.
Dwivedi said there will be an extensive feel-good factor in the country because of the decision taken by the Centre.
"Ram Manohar Lohia ji under whom I had political training was always against this Article. A mistake of history has been corrected today, albeit late," Dwivedi, who was considered very close to party leader Sonia Gandhi a few years ago, told news agency ANI.
He, however, made it clear that he was not speaking on behalf of the party but giving his personal opinion. Dwivedi asserted that there was no doubt that measures related to Jammu and Kashmir would be passed in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
The senior Congress man also said that at the end of all, the only issue that maybe there could be the issue of Union Territory status for Jammu and Kashmir but that would not be an issue in the way of development of the region.
Dwivedi added that he has always objected to Indian leadership referring to Kashmir as an integral part of India, which he felt was a wrong expression and should change.
Earlier in the day, Congress chief whip in Rajya Sabha Bhubaneswar Kalita resigned from the party over its stand on removal of the Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir. He said the “ideology of today’s Congress is suicidal” and that the party’s current leadership is working towards its destruction.
Kalita said he was asked to issue whip on Kashmir issue but the truth is that the atmosphere has changed and issuing the whip would have been against the wishes of the people.
“From the ideology of today’s Congress, it seems that the party is committing suicide and I don’t want to be part of it. I will not follow this whip and resign from the Congress,” he said in a statement shared by Prasar Bharati’s news service.