Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Congress unit yet again was finding itself at a political crossroads.
Already troubled with a spree of desertions in the past three years, the party was now faced with a wide split following resignation by scores of its leaders, owing allegiance to the former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, from the party posts.
Those resigned also included former ministers and legislators viz., G M Saroori, Jugal Kishore, Vikar Rasool, Dr Manohar Lal, Ghulam Nabi Monga, Naresh Gupta, Mohammad Amin Bhat, Subhash Gupta besides others.
Their major grouse was “lack of democracy within party” besides not getting “an opportunity to air their grievances and suggestions before the high command to improve the party in J&K.”
However, these all developments getting unfolded are a part of “shadow-boxing” with main players choosing to remain invisible.
“We have tendered resignations to the party president around ten days back. We’ve not resigned from the party but tendered resignations only as office bearers. We’re still very much part of Congress. Yes, we are Azad loyalists as we’re being dubbed as in the media. But we are Congress loyalists as well. We are not part of G-23 as is being alleged,” said a former minister, who was part of those resigned, wishing anonymity.
The dissension has always been the hallmark of Congress functioning in J&K. This time, however, it may culminate in a clear split as those at the helm of affairs had dropped the hints of initiating disciplinary proceedings against those violating party discipline.
“They will have to face consequences for this act of indiscipline. They have violated party discipline by going to the media with their issues instead of raising them at the proper party forum,” a senior party leader, deemed to be close to the J&K Congress president, avers. However, he, too, chooses to remain anonymous.
Interestingly these developments came to the fore when the former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is presently in J&K.
Azad, who was today in his home district Doda, however, remained inaccessible. JKPCC president G A Mir did respond to calls from media persons. Yet he did not divulge beyond a ‘politically correct statement.’
“I cannot comment on anything. I’ve not received anything on record,” was his terse reply to the entire development.
However, yet another senior leader of the party commented that this all was being done at the behest of someone. “They claim that the letter was sent to the party president besides Rahul Gandhi and the J&K incharge Rajni Patil. But the J&K party leadership was not in the loop,” he added.
As per the letter leaked to the media, those resigned said that they had been “seeking appointment from the party leadership for the last about one year through the medium of memorandum and by way of personal requests too during the visit of Rahul Gandhi to Srinagar and Jammu in August 2021 but they were not given time.”
They alleged that the party had reached a disastrous situation where over 200 party leaders including former ministers, legislators had already deserted the Congress and joined the other parties in the past three years.
“Those at the helm of affairs in J&K were simply unable to give a dynamic leadership to arrest this trend,” they added. However, the ‘official camp’ maintained that the party high command was clear in its approach that the J&K leadership could not be bypassed. Monga, Vikar did publicly acknowledge that they had resigned from the party posts but Saroori did not take calls.
Former Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand, however, despite being considered a loyalist of Azad did not join those resigned.