Congress to explain stand on Article 370 to its leaders

New Delhi: Amid divided views in the party over the Central government’s move on Kashmir, Congress’ policy planning group for Jammu and Kashmir chaired by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will brief the party General Secretaries, state in-charges and MPs about Congress’ stand on Article 370 on Friday evening, party sources said.

In a big triumph for the government, both the Houses of the Parliament earlier this week passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019, and adopted the resolution to scrap Article 370 and Article 35A granting special status to J&K, paving way for the bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories (UTs) — Jammu and Kashmir with an Assembly and Ladakh sans one.

Congress General Secretary (organisation) K.C. Venugopal has called the meeting of all the party General Secretaries, state in-charges, state chiefs, chairpersons of the AICC departments and Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs on Friday at the party’s war room in the national capital’s Gurudwara Rakab Ganj road.

Venugopal had written to all the senior leaders about the party’s decision to call a meeting a day after the Congress Working Committee (CWC) met on Tuesday night.

Congress’ policy planning group on Kashmir had also met on Tuesday at Manmohan’s Singh’s residence here, hours before the CWC meet at the party headquarters. The meeting was attended by senior leaders such as Ghulam Nabi Azad, P. Chidambaram, Ambika Soni, J&K state chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir and Tariq Ahmir Kara,

Several senior leaders, including Jyotiraditya Scindia, Janaradan Dwivedi, Milind Deora, Deepender Singh Hoda and Uttar Pradesh MLA Aditi Singh, have gone against the party’s stand on the decision to abrogate Article 370 by supporting the Centre’s move.