BJP attacks Congress after its representatives met Corbyn on Kashmir
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday attacked the Congress over its “shameful shenanigans” after the UK representatives of its overseas wing discussed the Kashmir situation with Britain’s Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The BJP also sought an explanation from the Congress on the meeting during which both sides discussed the human rights situation in the valley after the August 5 revocation of Article 370 that accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Corbyn’s tweet, with a photo of him and members of the UK unit of the Indian Overseas Congress (IOC), provoked a sharp response from the BJP. “Appalling! @INCIndia owes it to the people of India to explain what its leaders are telling foreign leaders about India. India will give a befitting reply to Congress for these shameful shenanigans!”
The Congress, however, hit back, accusing the BJP of making “malicious statements” to distract the people from its failures.
The IOC claimed it had met Corbyn to condemn the Kashmir resolution passed by his party pm September 26 at its annual party conference in Brighton, and reiterate that J&K is an internal matter.
“Our meeting with Jeremy Corbyn was held to condemn the Kashmir resolution passed by his Party and to reiterate that J&K is an internal matter and outside intervention will not be accepted. BJP’s malicious statements are another attempt to distract people from their failures,” the IOC tweeted.
But senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said the IOC delegation did not have the mandate to discuss the Kashmir situation.
“We are shocked by this misrepresentation and any unauthorised statement that has been made on behalf of the Congress party. The IOC delegation had neither a mandate nor any authorisation to speak on any matter which pertains to policies or India’s domestic issues. They are supposed to be only confined to the Indian diaspora,” he said.
Sharma said his party’s position is firm, consistent and clear as articulated in its working committee resolution of August 6.
“Any issue pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir is purely India’s internal matter. So, what the Congress party has to say is communicated officially here and no other entity, individual or a body has any authority to do so. We disown any such claim in entirety. I am conveying this to the leadership of the Labour Party,” he said.
Calling the meeting “very productive”, Corbyn tweeted: “A very productive meeting with UK representatives from the Indian Congress Party where we discussed the human rights situation in Kashmir. There must be a de-escalation and an end to the cycle of violence and fear which has plagued the region for so long.”
The IOC’s UK unit, however, condemned the version put out by Corbyn, calling it a “twisted” account and insisted that such issues are an internal matter of India.
IOC spokesperson Sudhakar Goud said its eight-member team, led by president Kamal Dhaliwal, had insisted that external parties or forces have no say in what is an internal matter of India.
“We condemn Corbyn’s tweet. In fact, we repeated the statement of Rahul Gandhi that Jammu and Kashmir is India’s internal matter. If there is any issue, Congress will fight internally within the Indian Constitution – external forces have no role in such issues,” he said.
India has categorically told the international community that its move on Kashmir was an internal matter.