- A historic blunder had been remedied: Congress leader Janardhan Dwivedi
- My mentor Ram Manohar Lohia was against Article 370: Janardhan Dwivedi
- A mistake made during independence has been corrected: Janardhan Dwivedi
While it led protests in parliament on Monday against the government's move to end special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370, the Congress was embarrassed by voices of its own leaders supporting the move. Senior Congress leader Janardhan Dwivedi said a historic blunder had been remedied today.
"My mentor Ram Manohar Lohia was against Article 370 from the start and we as students used to talk about it. 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.
Janardhan Dwivedi stressed that he was not speaking on behalf of his party but as an individual.
The government on Monday said special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 would cease to be operative, except for a clause that allows for the constitution to be extended to Jammu and Kashmir. The government also moved to bifurcate the state into two union territories by introducing a reorganization bill. The bill was cleared in the Rajya Sabha, where the government is short of a majority, because of support from various regional parties including from the opposition benches.
Earlier on Monday, the Congress suffered another embarrassment when its chief whip Bhubaneswar Kalita walked out calling the party's stand on the big Kashmir move "suicide".
A senior Congress leader from Assam, Mr Kalita resigned from the Rajya Sabha and quit the party saying he disagreed with its stand on Article 370 as it was "against the mood and emotions of the nation".
He said in a statement: "The Congress has asked me to issue a whip on the Kashmir issue. But the truth is that the mood of the nation has completely changed and this whip is against the public sentiment across the country....It seems the Congress is committing suicide with this ideology and I don't want to be part of this."
In the Rajya Sabha, the Congress was among the parties that called the government's move "murder of democracy". The party's Ghulam Nabi Azad said Jammu and Kashmir's head, considered India's crown, has been "chopped off" and its identity removed.
"The way an atom bomb explodes, such an explosion took place in the House today when the Home Minister arrived. Will you break and ruin the old India to create a New India," Mr Azad questioned.