Article 370: Congress whip in Rajya Sabha resigns

Politics

05 Aug 2019

Congress chief whip resigns over party's stand on Article 370

In yet another blow to the Indian National Congress, party whip in the Rajya Sabha, Bhubaneswar Kalita, resigned on Monday.

Kalita quit the party due to its opposition of the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories.

Reports suggest that the Assam MP may now join the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Here's more.

Details

Opposing scrapping of Article 370 against public sentiment

Opposing scrapping of Article 370 against public sentiment

On Monday morning, 68-year-old Kalita announced his resignation from the Rajya Sabha on Twitter, without mentioning the reason for his seemingly abrupt decision.

According to a letter that has been circulated online, Kalita later clarified that he resigned after the party leadership asked him to issue a whip on the Kashmir matter, which, he believes is against the public sentiment in India.

Quote

Congress wants to commit suicide, says Kalita

Saying that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had himself opposed Article 370, Kalita stated, "The rationale behind the Congress today gives the impression that the party wants to commit suicide and I do not wish to be a part of this."

He added, "The Congress leadership today is working towards the total destruction of the party. I believe, no one can save this party from destruction."

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Here is the full text of the letter

Kalita thinking of joining BJP, say sources

Sources told Northeast Now that Kalita would soon be joining the rival BJP. Interestingly, another Congress Rajya Sabha MP from Assam, Sanjay Singh, had resigned on July 30 from the Rajya Sabha and the party. Singh later joined the BJP.

Recent events

Here's a summary of what happened over the Kashmir issue

Here's a summary of what happened over the Kashmir issue

On Monday, Home Minister Amit Shah had proposed the revocation of Article 370 of Indian Constitution, which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Bill has been passed by Rajya Sabha.

The state of J&K would be bifurcated into two Union Territories: J&K (with a legislature) and Ladakh (without a legislature).

'Getting PoK back should be next on govt's agenda': Swamy

Speaking in support of the Centre's move to scrap Article 370, BJP MP in the Rajya Sabha, Subramanian Swamy, said getting Pakistan occupied Kashmir back should be next on the government's agenda. He also tweeted, "Article 370 died today. Collaterally so Article 35A."

Opposition

Ghulam Nabi Azad accused govt of murdering Constitution

However, the Opposition condemned the scrapping of Article 370.

Congress MP and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad accused the government of murdering the Indian Constitution.

Meanwhile, two Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) MPs, Mir Fayaz and Nazir Ahmed Laway, tore up the Constitution in protest, urging chairman Venkaiah Naidu to direct Marshalls to escort them out of the House.

History

Govt took precautions in Kashmir before revoking Article 370

Anticipating unrest in the valley ahead of the announcement to abrogate Article 370, the Centre had imposed Section 144 of the CrPC in some parts of Srinagar on Sunday night and barred mobile, broadband internet, and cable TV services.

Over 35,000 parliamentary troops were also deployed across the state.

State leaders including Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, and Sajad Lone were placed under house arrest.

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