The Jammu and Kashmir Congress is battling internal rift with 20 senior leaders, considered close to Ghulam Nabi Azad, resigning from their respective posts on Wednesday (November 17).
The leaders who put in their papers want change in party leadership in the J&K unit. Their ire is aimed at Pradesh Congress Committee president G A Mir, who they say is taking the party in this Union Territory towards “a disastrous situation”. They are not too happy with the top leadership either for neglecting the deterioration of the party.
The leaders who resigned are Subash Gupta, Ghulam Nabi Monga, Jugal Kishore Sharma, Naresh Gupta, Mohammad Amin Bhat (all former MLAs), former ministers Vikar Rasool, G M Saroori and Dr Manohar Lal Sharma, Pradesh Congress vice-president Anwar Bhat and member of Kulgam District Development Council and former district president Anyatullah Rather, Zahid Hassan Jan, former political advisor to CM Manzoor Ahmed Ganai, AICC member Engineer Maroof, vice-chairman of the party’s ST Cell Chowdhary Sohat Ali, Gaurav Chopra and district general-secretary Ashwani Sharma.
Vikar Rasool told The Indian Express: “We had been told that he (Pradesh Congress Committee president G A Mir) is being appointed for a period of three years, but it has been seven years now. We have told the high command that we will not hold any party position if there is no change in the party leadership in J&K.”
The dissidents wrote in the letter to party president Sonia Gandhi that poor leadership is responsible for Congress losing elections in J&K one after another. “The situation is so precarious that the party has failed to form even a single Council in Jammu and Kashmir,” said one rebel. They reminded the party high command that G A Mir himself lost in the Lok Sabha polls and his son lost the DDC elections.
The resignation letter reads, “Sycophants have captured and hijacked the functioning of the state Congress.”
The dissidents complained that they have been trying to reach out to leaders in Delhi for more than a year, but said they did not get an appointment. They also claim to have approached Congress in-charge for J&K Rajni Patil, but did not get the expected response.
A senior functionary in the Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) said the leaders who resigned have been irregular in attending party meetings for over a year. One of them did not even attend the party programme by Rajni Patil in Kathua district around three months ago.
Mir has not yet responded to the mass resignations yet.