Congress in a tizzy as Azad keeps away from J&K poll panels
New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has reportedly dissociated himself from the party’s election committees in Jammu and Kashmir, throwing the state unit in the grip of faction fighting.
Azad’s decision comes barely days after the state panels were constituted by the AICC. Party sources said the draft of these committees were sent to Azad for his approval and expressed surprise that he was having a rethink after the announcement. It is learnt that Azad has conveyed to the leadership that he would not be part of the J&K panels because he is busy with management of elections at the national level.
He has said that he would campaign in the state but would not have time for statecentric meetings.
Word has spread that he has opted out of state panels because he was passed over for chairmanship of the state campaign committee.
A couple of key poll related committees are headed by state Congress president Ghulam Ahmed Mir while Azad is a member on these panels.Expressing surprise at the developments, sources said Azad was offered the chairmanship of the campaign committee, a panel that is headed by leading contenders for chief ministership. Azad apparently refused the offer and stuck to his stand despite repeated pleas from the central leadership and the state unit.
Sources said it was only then that the committees were drafted without him at the head of any panel. He was also sent the draft of the committees for a final look.A senior Congress leader said a state-level programme of party workers is scheduled on February 17 and Azad, along with AICC general secretary in-charge Ambika Soni, are scheduled to address it. At that time, the party may make another attempt to clear the air so that peace returns to the state unit.