Updated: March 2, 2021 9:17:18 pm
Two days after former leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “not hiding his true self”, it was Congress versus Congress in Jammu on Tuesday with pro- and anti-Azad demonstrations by party workers.
In the morning, Congress workers, led by Pradesh Congress Committee general secretary Shahnawaz Choudhary, held a demonstration and burnt Azad’s effigy outside the Exhibition Ground here, in protest against him showering praises on PM Modi. Raising slogans against Azad, Shahnawaz demanded the party high command initiate action against him, as his statement was aimed at “weakening the Congress in the Union Territory”.
Pointing out that the Congress, when in power, made Azad a Union minister for many years and thereafter chief minister and also the AICC general secretary, Shahnawaz said he “turned a volte-face when the party came in crisis and needed him”. “Had he been so concerned about the party, he should have come to the Union Territory to campaign for Congress candidates during the recently held District Development Council elections,” Shahnawaz added.
Soon after this group left, Azad loyalists in the Congress, including Gourav Chopra and Shoba Ali Choudhary, both corporators of the Jammu Municipal Corporation, reached the spot and raised slogans in favour of the leader. “Azad Sahib is a senior party leader”, the demonstrators said, demanding action against Shahnawaz Choudhary.
Pointing out that Shahnawaz, a member of the Poonch DDC from Surankote, had contested the DDC polls against the Congress official nominee, Gourav said he was a party rebel and demanded his expulsion.
J&K Congress chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma refused to comment over the two parallel demonstrations by party workers. He, however, admitted that Shahnawaz had contested DDC elections as an Independent against the party’s official nominee, and the matter was pending before the AICC.
Shahnawaz, when contacted, said he continues to be the J&K Congress general secretary and in charge of the party’s social media cell. “The party’s social media handles are still with me. I had met the party high command soon after my election as the DDC member from Surankote,” he said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.