Congress president Rahul Gandhi believes that the public opinion on the Modi government’s decision to scrap Article 370 is divided but his young party colleagues have a different opinion.
At a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party’s apex decision-making body, Tuesday evening, the so-called ‘Young Turks’ launched a virtual revolt against the high command for its refusal to read the public mood.
“Whatever we may think about the government’s decision but the people outside are all for this. We have to face the people in our constituencies,” one of the young leaders is learnt to have said at the meeting.
Former MPs Jyotiraditya Scindia and Deepender Hooda have already gone public with their support for the government’s move on Article 370 even as the Congress was opposing it in Parliament.
At the CWC meeting, the two were joined by Jitin Prasada and R.P.N. Singh in questioning the party line and exhorting the leadership to be cognisant of the public mood.
According to a leader present at the meeting, senior Congressman P. Chidambaram sought to defend the party line, saying people in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the northeast didn’t look at the government’s decision favourably.
Gandhi chipped in, saying there was no uniformity in the public response as he was also getting different views from across the country.
The young guns, however, stuck to their views, striking a discordant note. It was one of the rare occasions when the CWC witnessed a rebellion against the high command’s line, which they felt was completely opposite to “the feeling on the ground” and “mood of the public”.