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Rift Within Congress Widens Over Kashmir Move as Madhya Pradesh Leaders Express Support

Kamal Nath

Madhya Pradesh Finance minister and Kamal Nath loyalist Tarun Bhanot expressing his support for the move said that the issue shouldn’t be politicised even as Digvijaya Singh remained critical of the scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.

Bhopal: The voices of dissent within the Congress party over Centre’s move to repeal articles 370, which accords special status to Jammu and Kashmir, met with resistance in Madhya Pradesh as several leaders supported the move.

Madhya Pradesh Finance minister and Kamal Nath loyalist Tarun Bhanot said, “Whenever it’s about the nation, we should all speak rising above politics.”

Bhanot said that the circumstances were different 75 years ago and the scenario today was different and claimed, “..our great leaders had made sacrifices and fought all odds to liberate the country from the British and amid adverse situations, did what they deemed right to keep Kashmir with India and the country had welcomed the move then. It helped keeping Kashmir with us. In the changed present scenario, if some decision has been taken and if it’s fit to be welcomed, it should be welcomed cutting across party lines.”

On Wednesday, BJP MLA from Maihar Narayan Tripathi, who had recently voted in favour of Kamal Nath government in the state assembly on an amendment bill, had sparked speculation for praising Home minister Amit Shah over the Kashmir move.

“Greetings Home minister Amit Shah, the decision to revoke article 370 from J&K is a historical step. Such bold steps could only be taken by Amit Shah only. The country is now acknowledging his historic decision,” Tripathi wrote on Twitter.

The comment fueled speculations of Tripathi, a known turncoat, once against switching allegiances.

Senior leader Digvijaya Singh criticised the move saying, “Dividing the state without taking the people of the state is undemocratic, unconstitutional and against the idea of federalism. Next six months crucial for the future of India and Kashmir.”

His brother, Chachora MLA Laxman Singh, however, spoke in favour of the move.

“Insurgency had surged to an extent that the Centre was forced to revoke Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir. Had Pt Nehru ever imagined that J&K would witness terrorism and strong separatist tendencies, he might have never gone ahead with Article 370 in the province. Rise in terror has forced the repeal of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir,” Laxman Singh recently told reporters in Guna.

Earlier this week, senior leader Jyotiraditya Scindia had also backed the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370 and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir.

“I support the move on #JammuAndKashmir & #Ladakh and its full integration into the union of India. Would have been better if the constitutional process had been followed. No questions could have been raised then. Nevertheless, this is in our country’s interest and I support this,” Scindia, who is considered one of the Rahul Gandhi’s trust lieutenant, tweeted saying.

His loyalist and state Health minister Tulsiram Silawat later commented saying that Scindia is a senior leader of the party and whenever he speaks, he says things with utmost sincerity and seriousness.

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