'Appaling', says BJP after overseas Cong delegation meets UK Labour Party leader Corbyn on Kashmir; Congress hits back
After Britain's Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted a picture of his meeting with members of Congress party's UK chapter who he said discussed the "human rights situation in Kashmir", the Congress on Thursday said any matter related to Jammu and Kashmir is "purely India's internal affairs" and that the delegation was not authorised to speak on the issue.
"We are shocked by this misrepresentation and any unauthorised statement that has been made on behalf of the Congress party. The delegation of Indian Overseas Congress that met has neither a mandate nor any authorisation to speak on any matter which pertains to policies or India's domestic issues. They are supposed to be only confined to the Indian diaspora," Congress leader Anand Sharma told reporters here.
Yesterday, the Labour Party chief Corbyn on Twitter described the "very productive meeting" he had with the Congress delegation and called for "de-escalation" and end of "cycle of violence" in the region.
"A very productive meeting with UK representatives from the Indian Congress Party where we discussed the human rights situation in Kashmir. There must be de-escalation and an end to the cycle of violence and fear which has plagued the region for so long," the British politician said.
The BJP called the meeting "appalling" and said India will give a befitting reply to the Congress for "these shameful shenanigans".
"Appalling! @INCIndia owes it to the people of India to explain what its leaders are telling foreign leaders about India. India will give a befitting reply to Congress for these shameful shenanigans!" the party said on its official Twitter handle.
The Congress party said that all communications is done officially by the party from New Delhi and that no other entity has the authority to do so.
"The INC's position is firm, consistent and clear as articulated in our working committee resolution of August 6. Any issue pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir are purely India's internal affairs. So what the Congress party has to say is communicated officially here and no other entity, individual or a body has any authority to do so. We disown any such claim in entirety. I am conveying this to the leadership of the Labour Party," said Anand Sharma.
The Indian Overseas Congress called BJP's statement as "malicious" and said that it was another attempt by them "to distract people from their failures."
"Our meeting with @jeremycorbyn was held to condemn the Kashmir resolution passed by his Party & to reiterate that J & K is an internal matter & outside intervention will not be accepted," the Indian Overseas Congress UK tweeted.
In a follow-up tweet, the party's UK branch said, "We refute Mr @jeremycorbyn's tweet. We have reiterated to him that his party must take up the issue of terrorism & terror groups with Pakistan & they should not interfere in India's internal matters."
On September 26, Britain's opposition Labour Party had passed an emergency resolution on Kashmir at the party's annual conference in Brighton which calls for the entry of international observers into the region.
The motion was a response to the decision by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories and withdraw the region's special status under Article 370.
Even at that time, the BJP strongly condemned the move and termed it a blatant interference in India's internal matter.
The UK government's official stance on Kashmir is that it remains a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.
Last month, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had quoted the Congress while launching an attack on New Delhi over the Kashmir issue. He had even mentioned the Congress party during his speech in the UN General Assembly in New York last month.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)