Hours after his nomination, Ghulam Nabi Azad resigns from his key positions at the J&K Congress
In a major setback for the Congress, its top leader Ghulam Nabi Azad resigned as chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir campaign committee and political affairs committee, hours after being nominated by the party’s high command.
According to party sources, Azad’s appointment was seen as a demotion from his current role as a member of the All-India Political Affairs Commission of the AICC. While declining the offer to take the chair of J&K’s campaign committee and political affairs committee, Azad reportedly cited health reasons.
Azad, who is part of the G-23 group of “dissidents” in Congress, was recently passed over by the party for his nomination for the Upper House.
The veteran Congress leader’s decision came just hours after party chairwoman Sonia Gandhi appointed Vikar Rasool Wani as head of the J&K unit and formed the campaign committee, political affairs committee , Coordinating Committee, Manifesto Committee, Publicity and Publication Committee, Disciplinary Committee and Pradesh Election Committee of J&K Unit.
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However, the decision to appoint Rasool as party leader in J&K sparked a rebellion within the party ranks with the resignation of several senior leaders of the newly formed committees and rank-and-file members of Congress.
Among those who resigned from the newly formed committees were former lawmakers Mohammad Amin Bhat and Gulzar Ahmad Wani, while another former MP, Abdul Rashid Dar, resigned from the core membership of the Congress.
“I cannot accept Vikar Rasool as its leader because he is younger than me. I am a 40-year-old congressman and this is unacceptable to me,” Dar told reporters.
The latest developments have come as a shock to the beleaguered Congress party, which has been scrambling to rebuild J&K unity amid signals that elections could be held in the Union Territory in the near future.