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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Congress leader’s remark of Article 370 revocation in Kashmir sparks political war of words

A row erupted on Saturday between the main opposition and the ruling party in India after senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh’s purported comments in an audio chat on social media that his party will have a “relook” at Article 370 revocation and Jammu and Kashmir’s lost statehood if it returns to power.

The right-wing Hindu nationalist BJP accused Singh of speaking “the language of Pakistan” and spewing venom against India.

Singh, a vehement opponent of the Hindutva groups, has faced severe attacks from the Hindu right-wing after he accused them of perpetrating saffron terror in India.

Singh’s remarks to a person, who the BJP said was a journalist of Pakistani origin, were seized by its leaders to unleash a torrent of criticism against the opposition party and demand statements from Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi on the issue.

“The decision of revoking Article 370 and reducing the statehood of J&K is extremely, I would say, sad decision, and the Congress party would certainly have a relook on the issue,” Singh said, according to excerpts of the clubhouse conversation available on social media.

He was responding to a question about the “way forward” on the issue “once the Modi government is gone”.

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra cited old comments of other Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi and Mani Shankar Aiyar, to allege that Singh’s remarks were part of a larger pattern of the party being “hand in glove” with Pakistan.

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