Congress welcomes Sonia statement on Kashmir accession

Jammu, Oct 21 (IANS) Welcoming party chief Sonia Gandhi’s statement that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India, Congress leaders here Thursday said the state’s accession to the Indian union is a ‘fact of life’.

Gandhi made the statement in her letter carried in the party mouthpiece Sandesh, days after Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said in the state assembly that Jammu and Kashmir had only acceded to and not merged with the Union of India.

Veteran Congress leader and former deputy chief minister Mangat Ram Sharma told party workers Thursday that the ‘accession of the state with India is a historic reality and Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. This is a fact of life.’

Senior vice president of Youth Congress R.S. Pathania told reporters: ‘Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and it shall remain so.’

The Youth Congress Thursday celebrated the birth anniversary of Maharaja Gulab Singh, who had laid the foundation of Dogra rule in the stat. His great grandson Maharaja Hari Singh had signed the accession of Kashmir with India on Oct 26, 1947.

‘We say it loudly and clearly that the accession of J&K with India was final and irrevocable,’ Pathania said.

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