Rahul Gandhi isolated within Congress over stand on Kashmir, claims BJP

Taking a dig at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over his criticism of the Union government on the situation in Kashmir, the BJP said on Monday that the entire country is celebrating the move to repeal Article 370 provisions but some leaders have become isolated even within their own party. At a press conference, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that there are some perennial trouble-creators and if Gandhi wants to become their leader, then the BJP can have only sympathy for him. His swipe at Gandhi came in response to a question on the former Congress presidents constant attack on the government over the situation in Kashmir. Gandhi had said on Sunday that the opposition and the press got a taste of the draconian administration and brute force unleashed on the people in the Valley when they tried to visit Kashmir and were turned back from Srinagar airport. The decision to nullify Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, had united the country as leaders rose above ideological differences and political boundaries to support it, Pradhan said. There are some who pretend to be sleeping even when awake. They have been isolated on this issue. They are isolated even within their party, he said to the question about Gandhi. Pradhan was apparently referring to several Congress leaders taking a line different from their party and supporting the governments decision. The BJP leader said that assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, now set to be a Union Territory, will take place after a delimitation exercise as reservation for scheduled castes and tribes will be extended to the region.