No divergent voices in Congress on Article 370, scrapped in unconstitutional manner: Priyanka Gandhi

SONBHADRA(UP): In her first reaction to the scrapping of the special status for Jammu and Kashmir, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra Tuesday said it was done in a "totally unconstitutional" manner and rejected suggestions that her party spoke in different voices on the issue.

She accused the Narendra Modi government of not following procedures while nullifying Article 370.

"The manner in which it has been done is totally unconstitutional and against the principles of democracy," she said when asked to comment on the recent developments.

She was talking to reporters at Umbha, the village where 10 tribals were killed in July in a land dispute.

"There are rules to be followed when such things are done, and those rules have not been followed. The Congress party, as I have said, will always fight for the Constitution and for democracy," the party general secretary in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh said.

She played down the apparent differences within her party on the government move.

"There are no divergent views in the Congress and this became clear at the CWC, she said, referring to the recent meeting of top decision-making body in the Congress.

What has happened is the rejection of the Constitution and the Congress has always fought for safeguarding the Constitution and democracy. We will keep fighting this battle," she said.

She said this is the party's clear stand and was reflected clearly in the Congress Working Committee statement signed by all members.

She was reacting to queries on the stand taken by senior leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, who had tweeted his support to Centre's move on Article 370 while suggesting that it would have been better if the constitutional process was followed.

"Unlike the BJP where only one voice is heard, in the Congress every voice is given importance, she said.

The party reaches a conclusion after discussing everyone's input, she said.

Janardan Dwivedi, Milind Deora and Deepender Hooda were among other Congress leaders who appeared to back the abrogation of the special status for Jammu and Kashmir.

Last week, Parliament approved a resolution scrapping provisions of Article 370 which gave J&K a special status under the Constitution and also passed a Bill splitting J&K into two Union Territories Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Priyanka Gandhi visited Umbha village in Sonbhadra district to meet the families of those killed in last month's shootout.

She was detained by the administration in Mirzapur while she was on the way to the village on July 19, two days after the clash.

The administration then said prohibitory orders were in force and her visit would create law and order problems.

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