A day after Labour Party chief Jeremy Corbyn said he met members of the Congress party’s UK chapter and discussed “human rights situation” in Kashmir, the party high command in New Delhi said J&K is “purely India’s internal” matter and the delegation did not have the mandate 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,” senior Congress leader Anand Sharma told reporters.
#WATCH "We are shocked by this misrepresentation. Any issue pertaining to Jammu & Kashmir are purely India's internal affairs," says Congress leader Anand Sharma on Congress's UK representatives meeting with UK's Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. pic.twitter.com/30MPBwCEMa
— ANI (@ANI) October 10, 2019
On Wednesday, Labour chief Corbyn called for an end “to the cycle of violence and fear” after his meeting with Congress party representatives in the United Kingdom.
“A very productive meeting with UK representatives from the Indian Congress Party where we discussed the human rights situation in Kashmir. There must be a de-escalation and an end to the cycle of violence and fear which has plagued the region for so long,” Corbyn tweeted.
Corbyn has been under pressure from Indian diaspora groups in Britain ever since the Labour Party passed a resolution against the Indian government’s August 5 decision to revoke Article 370 to withdraw the special status accorded to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The BJP described the meeting as “appalling” and said “India will give a befitting reply to 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! https://t.co/Sb0MThF17A
— BJP (@BJP4India) October 10, 2019
The Indian Overseas Congress UK said that the meeting with Corbyn was to reiterate that outside intervention on J&K will not be entertained. It also accused the BJP of spreading “malicious” statements.
While the Congress high command maintained that its Indian Overseas Congress chapters are confined to only addressing matters pertaining to the Indian diaspora.
“The delegation which met, for that matter any chapter of the IOC, 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,” Anand Sharma said.
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. @BJP4India's malicious statements are another attempt to distract people from their failures.
— Indian Overseas Congress UK (@TeamIOCUK) October 10, 2019
He added that the Congress stand is officially communicated from New Delhi.
“The INC position is firm consistent and clear, as articulated in our Working Committee resolution on August 6, any issues pertaining to the state of J&K are purely India’s internal affairs. What Congress has to say is communicated officially here and no other individual has any authority to do so. We disown any such claim in entirety,” he said.