Congress faces 'undeclared rebellion'

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Congress party in Jammu is facing ‘undeclared rebellion’ as several leaders want a senior Jammu based leader to head Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) ahead of Assembly polls in the state.

After losing both the Parliamentary seats to BJP in Jammu division, Congress leaders are “annoyed” with the party’s leadership and are demanding a separate meeting with senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha Member Ghulam Nabi Azad in Jammu to discuss their concerns. “If elections are held by November or December 2019, and situation remains same our chances of winning Assembly seats in non-Muslim belt look grim,” a senior Congress leader told Greater Kashmir.

“We are not worried about Assembly seats in Muslim constituencies as we can win at least four to five seats in these belts. In case of pre-poll alliance with National Conference we will not gain in non-Muslim areas like Jammu, Samba, and Kathua,” the leader said.

Another Congress leader said that “we are facing BJP in Jammu’s saffron belt where the rightwing party is very strong with its views against Article 35-A and Article 370 and people support them.”

A BJP leader said, “Recently, BJP government granted 3 percent reservation to  the residents living close to international border. Erstwhile Congress government did not pay any heed to the demands of the local leaders. The BJP government is fulfilling long pending demands of the people and has won their trust.” 

Similarly, he said, “the previous Congress regime had announced that it would give Rs 25 lakhs to Rs 30 lakhs as compensation to the displaced persons but “it failed to fulfill its promise. However, the BJP government provided Rs 5.5 lakhs to each displaced person’s family.”

Another Congress leader said, “Our governments failed to fulfill the demands of people which were raised by us. BJP fulfilled these demands and took credit for it.” 

“How can you except from us to win Assembly seats from Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts? In Parliamentary elections, the manifesto of Congress party assured withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) to appease Kashmir,” the Congress leader added.

“Our leadership always frames policies vis-a-vis Kashmir and ignores Jammu. Our leaders forget that Congress has always won maximum Assembly seats from Jammu and not from Kashmir,” he added.  A former minister said, “No senior Congress leader from Jammu has been given a chance to become JKPCC president. Many leaders like late Pandit Mangat Ram Sharma were not given a chance to serve the people in the state.”

“When BJP is playing Jammu card like J&K will have a Chief Minister from Jammu, how can you expect us to win,” he said, “Under these circumstances it becomes difficult for Congress to justify why JKPCC president is from Kashmir and not from Jammu,” he added. “Please tell me the names of the leaders who spoke to you. It is hypothetical,” replied JKPCC chief, Ghulam Ahmed Mir when asked about concerns of several Congress leaders in Jammu. Later, his mobile network was out of reach. He could not be contacted again.