- Jyotiraditya Scindia said he supports J&K's "full integration" to India
- He said it would be "better" if constitutional process had been followed
- Other Congress leaders have broken from party line, supporting the move
Senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia became the surprise addition today to the list of party leaders openly backing the government on its decision to end special status for Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and split it into two union territories. Jyotiraditya Scindia, a party general secretary, tweeted his support just before a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party's top decision-making body, to firm up its stand on Kashmir.
"I support the move on #JammuAndKashmir & #Ladakh and its full integration into union of India. Would have been better if constitutional process had been followed. No questions could have been raised then. Nevertheless, this is in our country's interest and I support this," Jyotiraditya Scindia tweeted.
I support the move on #JammuAndKashmir & #Ladakh and its full integration into union of India.- Jyotiraditya M. Scindia (@JM_Scindia) August 6, 2019
Would have been better if constitutional process had been followed. No questions could have been raised then. Nevertheless, this is in our country's interest and I support this.
The tweet gave a minor concession to the party line, that the manner in which it was railroaded through both houses was "undemocratic".
As a rash of Congress leaders appear to by defying the headless party, Jyotiraditya Scindia's move may hurt its leadership the most.
Mr Scindia, 48, an aide of Rahul Gandhi, was given the prestigious task of leading the party's national election campaign in Uttar Pradesh along with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. However, the Congress came a cropper in UP and Mr Scindia himself lost the election.
Amid speculation, Mr Scindia attended the CWC meet and was seen in photos shared by the Congress seated next to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
Lok Sabha MPs this morning met with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi before the Kashmir move was taken up in the Lok Sabha.
Sonia Gandhi, presented with the options to support or oppose the move, reportedly said "We will oppose it and our opposition is based on the manner in which the people of Jammu and Kashmir, the state assembly, have not been consulted."
The Congress was in disarray after Amit Shah introduced the move in the Rajya Sabha on Monday. It was among the few parties that opposed the move.
A senior Congress leader, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, admitted yesterday that the party had been outfoxed. "We have been politically outwitted as we are among four or five parties alone that have opposed it," Mr Singhvi told NDTV.
"My mentor Ram Manohar Lohia was against Article 370 from the start.... My personal view is that this is a matter of national satisfaction. A mistake made during independence has been corrected, even if belatedly," Janardhan Dwivedi told news agency ANI.
Deepender Hooda, another Congress leader, tweeted: "My personal view is that there isn't a need to have Article 370 in the 21st century. The move is not only in the interest of the country but also for the benefit of Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral part of India. It is the responsibility of the government to implement the move in a peaceful environment."
Yesterday, the Congress's chief whip Bhubaneswar Kalita quit the party and the Rajya Sabha calling the Congress stand on Kashmir "suicide".