Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad — long upset with the party — has resigned from a key party post in Jammu and Kashmir, signalling a revolt within. The chairman of the party’s campaign committee, he stepped down from the post shortly after his appointment. He has also resigned from the party’s Jammu and Kashmir political affairs committee.
Sources indicated that Mr Azad saw the appointments as a demotion for him as he is already a member of the party’s all-India political affairs committee. A veteran leader, he is also a former Chief Minister of the erstwhile state, served as an union minister and held many important party posts.
The resignation of Mr Azad — one of the group of 23 leaders who wrote the explosive letter to Sonia Gandhi, seeking change in leadership — came shortly after his close aide, Ghulam Ahmed Mir, was dropped from the post of the chief of the party’s Jammu and Kashmir unit. Mr Mir had stepped down last month.
The party had effected a thorough organisational shake-up in the Union Territory and appointed Vikar Rasool Wani in place of Mr Mir.
Party chief Sonia Gandhi had also formed the campaign committee, political affairs committee, coordination committee, manifesto committee, publicity and publication committee, disciplinary committee and Pradesh election committee with immediate effect.
The assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir will be held after the finalisation of electoral rolls and completion of the delimitation exercise. There is, however, concern that the polls cannot be held this year as delimitation and electoral rolls revision cannot be completed before the deep winter sets in.
A timeline for the election is yet to be announced.
The Election Commission, however, has recently revised the date of final publication of voters list to November 25. This would be the first voters’ list of the Union Territory after the boundaries of assembly seats were redrawn in the delimitation exercise.