Priyanka Gandhi visits Sonbhadra, calls scrapping of Article 370 unconstitutional

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has finally commented on the Centre’s decision to scrap Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate the state into two Union territories. She termed the move as “unconstitutional” and undemocratic.

Priyanka Gandhi was on a visit to the Sonbhadra village in Uttar Pradesh when she spoke about the scrapping of Article 370 which gave the state of Jammu and Kashmir special powers. The Sonbhadra village was the site where 10 tribals were shot dead over a land dispute last month.

Speaking on the Kashmir situation, Priyanka Gandhi 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.”

While the government’s Kashmir policy has created dissension within the Congress ranks, with several party leaders supporting the Centre, Priyanka Gandhi echoed the sentiments of her brother Rahul Gandhi as well as the Congress’s top leadership.

On Tuesday, Priyanka Gandhi visited the Umbha village, nearly a month after she had a staged a sit-in the region over the UP’s government’s refusal to let her visit the site of the massacre.

Priyanka Gandhi covered the distance from Varanasi to Umbha village in Sonbhadra district, about 100 kilometres apart.

Shortly after arriving at the Varanasi airport this morning, 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, the UP Congress tweeted photographs of her reaching the village, where armed men led by a former village pradhan had gunned down 10 Gond tribals when they resisted an attempt to take control of the disputed land on July 17.

Last month, Priyanka Gandhi had tried to visit the village to meet the families of those affected by the shooting.

On way to the adjoining district, authorities stopped her in Mirzapur from proceeding further as Section 144 (unlawful assembly) was imposed in the village then due to tension in the area.

Her detention at the Chunar Fort triggered a standoff between her the state government.

She spent the night at the fort and met the members of the tribal community the next day. Before being detained, she had met at a Varanasi hospital the families of those injured. She had promised she would return to meet the people of Sonbhadra again.

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