Yet another Cong leader differs on Art 370; Karan Singh points to positives 'this time'


New Delhi,  In what is seen as a growing differences of opinion in Congress party over the Modi government's decision to revoke Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, party veteran and former Union Minister Dr Karan Singh on Thursday said that "there are several positive points" in the government's action. "Personally I do not agree with a blanket condemnation of these developments. There are several positive points", Dr Singh said in a statement, two days after the Parliament approved the bills, which abolished Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories.  "The drastic measure appears to enjoy overwhelming support of Parliament as well as around the country, including Jammu and Ladakh, I have been pondering deeply over the situation", he added. "Ladakh’s emergence as a Union Territory is to be welcomed", the son of last ruler of Jammu and Kashmir Maharaja Harisingh said and added that "in fact I had suggested this as far back as 1965 when I was still Sadar-i-Riyasat of Jammu and Kashmir when I had publicaly proposed reorganization of the state". Dr Singh's statement was following the Congress Working Committee's (CWC) resolution after several Congress leaders like Janardhan Dwivedi, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Milind Deora, Deepender Singh Hooda supported the government's move in Jammu and Kashmir.  "What the BJP government accomplished in the Rajya Sabha and in the Lok Sabha has grave implications going well beyond Jammu and Kashmir and calls into question the very idea of India being a Union of States", the Congress had said in a resolution passed in the CWC. Supporting the abrogation of provisions in Article 35A, Dr Singh said that the issue of gender-discrimination needed to be addressed. The Congress leader, however, cautioned that a broad spectrum of people may be feeling mortified, hence "it is important for the political dialogue to continue". He also demanded the release of leaders of legitimate political parties detained in Jammu and Kashmir. "It is unfair to dismiss the two main regional parties as being anti-national. Their workers have over the years made heavy sacrifices, and besides both of them have been form time to time political allies of national parties and governments at the Centre and in the State", he added.