Speaking to a Pakistani journalist, Congress Party member Digvijay Singh from the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh said that the revocation of Article 370 may be "re-looked" by the Indian National Congress (INC). The next national election in India is scheduled for 2024, wherein the Congress Party aims to make a comeback as the ruling government of India after a hiatus of 10 years.
"There was no democracy in Kashmir when they revoked Article 370, 'insaniyat [humanity]' was not there as they [the government] had put everyone behind bars. Meanwhile, 'Kashmiriyat' is something that is based on the fundamentals of secularism because it was a Muslim-majority state once ruled by a Hindu king. The decision of revoking Article 370 and reducing the statehood of J&K is a sad decision. And the Congress Party will certainly have to re-look at this issue", Singh said during the aforementioned chat, a screen recording of which has since gone viral.
The journalist alleged that the Indian government's decision strip J&K of its special status has further strained diplomatic relations between India and Pakistan.
Several leaders from the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) reacted strongly to Singh's controversial statement. Sharing the screen-recording of the Clubhouse chat, several BJP leaders have since shot back at the Congress Party member.
Digvijay Singh on being questioned by a Pak Journalist,on getting rid of “Modi” & on Kashmir policy, says that if Congress comes back to power they would have a rethink on Article 370,May restore it— Sambit Patra (@sambitswaraj) June 12, 2021
He also talks about Hindu fundamentalists
Congress a clubhouse of Anti-nationals https://t.co/2phVpWv1TF
Not surprising that Digvijay Singh has tied the fortunes of congress party with Art 370, both are NOT going to comeback anymore.#Clubhouse— P Muralidhar Rao (@PMuralidharRao) June 12, 2021
This is a huge huge self goal at the very least and some would say yet another attempt to stand with Pakistan on the issue of abrogation of Art 370! https://t.co/JnAO75DQWB— Shehzad Jai Hind (@Shehzad_Ind) June 12, 2021
Shivraj Singh Chauhan, the state chief of Madhya Pradesh tweeted a video message warning his Congress counterpart Singh that it appears like the party is supporting Pakistan in the Kashmir issue. Chauhan also noted that it was the Congress Party that gave J&K the special status after independence.
The region has often been the scene of violent encounters between purported terrorists and Indian security forces. The latter have escalated in recent months. As per J&K police, a total of 221 terrorists were killed in over 100 encounters with India's security forces in 2020 alone.