November 18, 2021 3:08:31 am
At least 20 Congress leaders in Jammu and Kashmir, considered close to former Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, have resigned from their party positions to press for a change in party leadership in the Union Territory. This comes amid speculation about Assembly elections in J&K.
Prominent among those who put in their papers are former ministers G M Saroori, Vikar Rasool and Dr Manohar Lal Sharma, besides former legislators Jugal Kishore Sharma, Ghulam Nabi Monga, Naresh Gupta, Mohammad Amin Bhat, and Subash Gupta.
Monga and Rasool confirmed that they have written to the party president seeking change in the leadership in the UT. Without naming Pradesh Congress Committee president G A Mir, Rasool said, “We were told that he is being appointed for three years, but it has been seven years now. However, we have told the high command that we will not hold any party position if there is no change in the leadership in J&K,” he said, adding that the letter was sent out 20-odd days ago.
Calling it the party’s internal matter, Dr Manohar Lal said he will speak on the issue after his meeting in Kathua on Thursday.
In their resignation addressed to AICC president Sonia Gandhi and copied to Rahul Gandhi and J&K secretary in-charge Rajni Patil, the leaders alleged that under the presidentship of G A Mir, Congress is heading towards a disaster and that till date, at least 200 senior Congress leaders, including former ministers, MLAs, MLCs, PCC office bearers, district presidents and AICC members have resigned and joined other parties.
They further alleged that “some unscrupulous sycophants have captured and highjacked the functioning of PCC. Party posts were distributed without consultation of senior leaders and sitting MLAs / MLCs of the districts which resulted that incapable and tainted with doubtful turpitude were/ are installed.”
They pointed out that the party performed poorly in all the elections, so much so that it could not form even a single council in J&K, citing G A Mir who lost in Parliament polls and his son in the DDC elections despite being the PAGD candidate in his home constituency.
“We have been requesting for an appointment with the party leadership for the past year through the medium of memorandum/ regulations and by way of personal requests too on the maiden visit of Rahul Gandhi both at Srinagar and Jammu during August 2021. But no time was given to us. The matter was also brought into the kind notice of Rajni Patil, but sorry to say that no heed was paid,” said the rebels, adding that the party’s political space is shrinking with each passing day.
On the other hand, they said, elections may be announced any time and, “in view of this hostile attitude adopted by the party leadership, we have been compelled and forced to resign from all the party posts being carried. As such, it is most humbly requested to please accept our resignation,” read the letter.
A senior functionary in the PCC, however, said that these leaders had not been attending party meetings for the past year. One of them did not attend the party programme led by Rajni Patil in Kathua district a few months ago, leading to the party high command initiating action against him. He said these leaders had written a similar letter to the party president some six months ago and may have circulated it now fearing action against them as well for being indifferent to party activities and programmes.
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