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In our party, we don’t silence dissent like BJP did: Priyanka Gandhi on Article 370


LUCKNOW: Breaking her silence over the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra dubbed Centre’s move as "unconstitutional" and "undemocratic".

Priyanka was interacting with media persons on the sidelines of her visit to Umbha village in Sonbhadra district on Tuesday. The village, last month, had witnessed a massacre leaving 10 Gond tribals dead and over two dozen injured over a land dispute.

When asked about dissenting voices against the party’s official stand over the issue, Priyanka shot back saying it was due to internal democracy in Congress that everyone was free to express their views.
“In our party, we don’t silence dissent like it was done in the BJP. We sit and discuss issues among ourselves before coming out with party’s official stand and this was the case with this issue as well,” she said.

Rejecting the manner in which Modi government went ahead to scrap Article 370, Priyanka said: "The manner in which it has been done is completely unconstitutional and it's against all the principles of democracy, there are rules to be followed when such things are done, which were not followed in this case."

While the government's Kashmir policy created a rift between Congress leaders, her sentiments echoed that of her brother Rahul Gandhi's.

Meanwhile, keeping her promise, she returned to Umbha village after nearly a month on Tuesday to meet the victim families, who lost their loved ones in the massacre held last month over a land dispute.

Shortly after arriving at the Varanasi airport, she tweeted, "Today, I am going to Sonbhadra to meet the brothers-sisters and children of Umbha village, enquire about their well-being and to be part of their struggle."

"I had promised the members of affected families of Umbha village, who had come to meet me at Chunar Fort, that I will visit them," she said. Later, she also visited the site of the massacre along with the village women.

The blood bath in Umbha village took place when the Gond tribals resisted the move of village head Yagya Dutt and hundreds of his accomplices to take the possession of 90-bigha land through might on July 17, 2019.