New Delhi: The Congress on Monday suffered a setback after its chief whip in Rajya Sabha, Bhubaneswar Kalita, resigned from the party and the Upper House citing the party’s opposition to the scrapping of Article 370. The Centre revoked Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and proposed that the state be bifurcated into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
Janardan Dwivedi, a close aide of former Congress president Sonia Gandhi and a former general secretary in charge of organisation, also told ANI: “My political guru Ram Manohar Lohia ji was always against this Article. A mistake of history has been corrected today, albeit late."
Kalita resigned when the Rajya Sabha was discussing the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation bill and the opposition was divided. “I have resigned from the Rajya Sabha membership today. #Assam," Kalita wrote on Twitter.
“The ideology of Congress today looks like it is committing suicide and I do not want to be a part of it. I do not want to accept this whip and I am resigning from the Congress party," he said in the letter referring to the whip to ensure party lawmakers attend Rajya Sabha during the discussion on Article 370.
His resignation is critical for the Congress not just because he was a key face from the North East, heading the party’s Assam unit for over a decade, but also because he was a key organization manhandling a series of responsibilities.
In his resignation letter, Kalita has made stinging remarks on the Congress’ current state and leadership.
“Congress party’s leadership is doing the work of completely destroying the party. My view is that no one can save this party from being devastated," he added.