Sidelining Azad in Poll Panels triggers revolt like situation in J&K Cong

Resolution passed seeking Azad to lead campaign

Nishikant Khajuria

JAMMU, Feb 9: Resentment in Congress against the incumbent PCC president G A Mir heading vital Pradesh Election Committee as well as Campaign Committee sidelining Ghulam Nabi Azad is snowballing into major controversy, which may trigger a revolt like situation in the party if no cognizance of the matter is taken by the high command.
A day after Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and AICC general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad dissociated himself from these committees indirectly conveying his displeasure over the arrangement and structure of the panels, several senior leaders of the Pradesh Congress today passed a resolution demanding that Mr Azad should be given the full charge of elections in the J&K State.
A number of Ex- Legislators, vice presidents, general secretaries and District presidents from J&K Pradesh Congress Committee have unanimously passed this resolution, which has been forwarded to the Congress high command and AICC president Rahul Gandhi for conceding their request in this regard.
Pertinent to mention that Rahul Gandhi approved the proposal of the Coordination Committee, Pradesh Election Committee, Campaign Committee, Publicity Committee and Media Co-ordination Committee for Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee on February 7.
However, arrangement and structure of most important Pradesh Election Committee and Campaign Committee have annoyed a big a section of the party since Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is considered as only leader from J&K with a capacity to steer Congress win elections in the State, has been virtually sidelined in the panels.
While PCC president G A Mir is heading both the committees as the Chairperson, the name of Ghulam Nabi Azad has been placed at number three in these panels. In the Co-ordination Committee, which is being headed by Ambika Soni as Chairperson, name of Mr Azad has been kept at fourth place after G A Mir and Nawang Rigzin Jora while a number of Azad camp leaders have not been adjusted in any of these panels.
As already reported by the Excelsior in today’s edition, Mr Azad had yesterday dissociated himself from these committees thus clearly voicing his resentment over the structure of the vital panels, which play key role in election management and distribution of mandate to the aspirants.
Ghulam Nabi Azad was head of the Congress Campaign Committee in three consecutive Assembly elections in J&K since 2002 because he is the only face, under whose leadership, the party can attract voters in all three regions of the State.
“On the one hand we are projecting Azad as next Chief Minister of J&K because of his acceptability, experience and the developmental works done during his tenure as CM, some elements are trying to spoil the Congress prospects in forthcoming elections by projecting themselves over Azad,” opined a senior Congress leader hinting that if the party high command does not consider their request of giving Mr Azad full charge for upcoming elections in the State, a revolt is not ruled out in the party.
Maintaining that under Azad’s able and dynamic leadership, the Congress party in J&K will emerge as victorious, the resolution adopted today also said, “Keeping in view the experience and developmental works done during his tenure as Chief Minister we all hope, for the better results in favour of the party. We sincerely hope that President AICC Rahul Gandhi Ji will accede to our request.”
Among those who are part of the resolution, included Madan Lal Sharma (Ex MP), Peerzada Syeed (Ex PCC Chief), Sham Lal Sharma (Ex Minister), G M Saroori, Ex Minister and PCC vice-president; G N Monga, Ex MLC and PCC vice-president; Haji Abdul Rashid, Ex MLA and PCC vice-president; Jugal Kishore, Ex-Minister; Mohd Amin Bhatt, Ex MLA; Usman Majeed Ex MLA; Choudhary Akram, Ex MLA; Balbir Singh, MLC; Naresh Gupta, MLC; Vikar Rasool, Ex MLA; Kanta Bhan, vice-president; Manohar Lal, Ex Minister and District president Kathua; Mohd Anwar Bhatt, vice-president; Amreen Badar, vice-president; Yogesh Sawhney, Ex Minister; Haji Nisar Ali, Ex-Minister; Sham Lal Bhagat, Ex MLC; Jahangir Mir, Ex MLC; Namrata Sharma, Fakir Nath, Shabir Khan, Ex Minister, Krishan Lal, Subash Gupta, Farooq Katoch, Sheikh Mujeeb, Mohinder Singh Parihar, Manjeet Singh, Shoaib Nabi Lone, Arvinder Singh Mickey (Ex Chairman of Legislative Council), Vikram Malhotra (DCC president) and others.