Digvijay Singh said Congress could consider restoring Kashmir's special status
Congress leader Digvijay Singh said the party could reconsider the current regime's decision to abrogate Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir if it comes to power at the Centre, reports said citing an alleged audio chat on the Clubhouse app. In that chat, Singh was asked about Kashmir's status by Shahzeb Jillani, a Pakistan-origin journalist currently residing in Germany. Here's more on this.
Singh was conversing with Jillani, a former BBC reporter
In the conversation, that has been doing the rounds on Twitter, Jillani said he is shocked to see the changing landscape of Indian politics under the Modi government, adding that freedom of press in the country has suffered. Jillani is notably a former BBC correspondent having worked in Pakistan, Beirut (Lebanon), London, and Washington, according to his account on Twitter.
What did Jillani ask Singh?
"If and when this government goes and India does get rid of PM Modi, what will be the way forward on Kashmir?...This is an issue that has existed between the two countries for so long," Jillani was heard asking Singh in the audio clips.
'We will certainly have to relook at this issue'
Replying to the question, Singh said, "Revoking Article 370 and reducing the statehood of J&K is an extremely sad decision. We (Congress party) will certainly have to relook at this issue." "Democracy was not there in Kashmir when they revoked Article 370. Insaniyat (humanity) was not there because they put everyone behind bars. And Kashmiriyat is something that is fundamental to secularism," he added.
Here are the leaked audio clips
'Exactly what Pakistan wants': BJP slams Singh's comments
The BJP, currently in power at the Centre, has hit out at Singh for his alleged comments. Amit Malviya of the saffron party tweeted the audio clip, writing, "Rahul Gandhi's top aide Digvijaya Singh tells a Pakistani journalist that if Congress comes to power they will reconsider the decision of abrogating Article 370...Really? This is exactly what Pakistan wants (sic)."
J&K's special status was revoked in August, 2019
Provisions of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, that granted a special status to the former state of Jammu and Kashmir, were revoked on August 5, 2019. That state was then divided into two Union Territories - Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. Several influential politicians in the Valley, including two former Chief Ministers, were put under house arrest and 4G internet services were snapped.