Ahead of Sonia visit, Cong divide wide and open
Jammu, May 18: Factionalism-ridden state unit of the Congress is gearing up for the upcoming visit of UPA chairperson and AICC chief Sonia Gandhi to the state. She is arriving at Basohli in Kathua district on May 23 to lay the concept stone of a cable-stayed bridge on river Ravi.
Party insiders said that factionalism has once again started raising its head within the Congress, ahead of Sonia’s visit with two factions of the party—owing allegiance to the PCC chief Saif-ud-Din Soz and Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad—chalking out separate strategies to make the visit a “grand success”.
Making their ‘differences’ public, the leaders of two groups organized separate meetings and took stock of the party’s preparations for Sonia’s visit.
“Saif-ud-Din Soz convened a meeting of party leaders at party headquarters Shaheedi Chowk to review the preparations, though this was not mentioned in the official statement released to media yesterday. Similarly, the loyalists of Azad led by Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand also called a separate meeting to make the visit of UPA chairperson a grand success,” sources maintained.
“Though the agenda of both the meetings was to ensure a good and successful rally at Basholi on May 23, separate meetings by the leaders owing allegiance to the two factions was the clear indication that differences between two factions have turned murkier and these are going to deepen further ahead of the Sonia’s visit,” sources maintained.
Sonia Gandhi had cancelled her visit to Kashmir Valley on May 29 last year in view of the stinging factionalism in the state congress. She was supposed to talk both the factions of the Congress, led by Saif-ud-Din Soz and Azad, telling them that the party needs to stand as a single unit in the state.
Sources said the PCC
chief told the senior leaders to gear up for upcoming visit of the party president, without giving much opportunity to ‘opponents’ (Azad group) to take credit in case of a ‘successful’ function.
Interestingly, the meeting which was chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand gave credit to Ghulam Nabi Azad for envisaging the proposal of cable-bridge in Basohli, saying “The development was main agenda of former Chief Minister and the said bridge is one among them.”
Lastupdate on : Wed, 18 May 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 18 May 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 19 May 2011 00:00:00 IST
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