Tuesday, October 4News That Matters

Ghulam Nabi Azad quit Congress in Jammu and Kashmir, more resignations are likely

The quitting of Congress by Ghulam Nabi Azad is likely to deal a severe blow to the J&K Congress unit and the signs are visible. A number of J&K Congress officials, including two ex-ministers and ex-legislators, have resigned in support of Azad, and many more are expected to do the same in the coming days in order to join the new party that Azad will launch. Five J&K Congress leaders announced their resignation from the party in a joint statement a few hours after Azad left the party after 50 years of membership.

Ghulam Nabi Azad

“We resign from all the positions held in the Congress party and also resign from the primary membership of the party in support of Ghulam Nabi Azad,”   the joint resignation statement issued by five former Congress MLAs Ghulam Mohammad Saroori, Choudhary Muhammad Akram, Muhammad Amin Bhat, Gulzar Ahmad and Abdur Rashid Dar. All five were Azad supporters, and three had left various J&K Congress organisations after Azad declined to lead the J&K Campaign Committee. R S Chib, a former minister and another Azad supporter, left the party’s fundamental membership as well. “I feel that in the prevailing circumstances, Congress has lost its momentum in contributing towards the future of my State. Keeping in view the turmoil that J&K has witnessed over the past decades, the people require a decisive leader like Ghulam Nabi Azad to guide them towards a better future. I feel that Congress has not been able to play the role that is expected of it,” read Chib’s resignation letter.

Salman Nazmi, the spokesperson for the Congress National Committee, Jugal Kishor Sharma, a former minister, Sham Lal Bhagat, and Naresh Gupta, two former MLCs, have all left the party. In addition, the district presidents of the Congress parties in Doda and Kishtwar have defected to Azad. More Congress officials who are close to Azad may leave the party soon. Only J&K Congress president Vikar Rasool will be left alone, according to Saroori, one of the J&K Congress leaders who quit the party. “Had he not been appointed as J&K Congress chief, he too would have resigned”.

He declared that they would be joining the new party that Azad would launch. “It will be a secular party and will have nothing to do with BJP”. Azad was criticised by the former leader of the J&K Congress, G. A. Mir, who claimed that it was time for Azad to contribute back to the party but that instead, he fled. “Azad and some other party leaders were enjoying the positions and protocols. They wanted to remain in RS so that they can remain in government bungalows and enjoy government protocol.

They left the party for green pastures in other parties. Maybe Azad has also got an offer from somewhere for him to remain in protocol,” he stated. Rekha Choudhary, a political analyst based in Jammu, predicted that Azad’s departure from the Congress will further erode its support in J&K. After Article 370 was revoked, the J&K Congress unit was damaged. As many leaders left the party to join the BJP and other parties. The likelihood of Azad launching a new party. According to Rekha, won’t change much on the ground or have much of an impact in J&K.

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