Congress vs Ex-Congress: Azad’s J&K Rally, Grand Old Party’s Delhi Event Set Stage for Sunday Showdown

Banners seen erected ahead of a rally by Ghulam Nabi Azad to be held on September 4

JAMMU, Sept 3: The stage is set for a battle of ideologies and show of strength this Sunday as former Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad will hold a rally in his home turf of J&K to gauge the mood of the public, while the Grand Old Party takes to the streets in Delhi against inflation, unemployment and LPG price hike.
In the former chief minister’s hometown Bhaderwah in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district, locals are happy to welcome him and are upbeat about his future plans since he severed ties with the Congress in a public spat where he blamed Rahul Gandhi for the degeneration of the Grand Old Party.
Most supporters of Azad in Bhaderwah say they will always side with him, irrespective of which party he represents. “Azad saab has always worked for the people of Bhaderwah. Even when he was in Delhi, he never forgot the people of this area,” a local businessman said.
The Congress, meanwhile, has tweeted a video of a protest by party workers in Azad’s home block against him, with party general secretary Jairam Ramesh tweeting: “This is ground reality, not reality manufactured by people sitting in New Delhi in Modi Sarkar sanctioned bungalows with huge lawns and planting fake news.”
The J&K Congress also tweeted a video of Congress workers of all blocks of Bhallessa sub-division assembled at the Gandoh office for the monthly meeting conducted on the first day of every month for the last over 50 years.
Azad’s scathing letter on his resignation from the Congress, a party he has been associated with for years, took the top brass by surprise amid discussions about elections to the post of Congress chief. While the Gandhis are not keen to take up the post, the name of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is doing the rounds of political circles.
On Sunday, the Congress is holding a ‘Mehangai Par Halla Bol’ rally. The party had also organised ‘Mehangai Chaupals’ or interactive meetings at mandis, retail markets and other locations in all the assembly constituencies from August 17 to 23.
The party had printed booklets and distributed them to all the state organisations. They were then translated and printed in the local languages for distribution among the public. (Agencies)