Congress reshuffle | India

Ghulam Nabi Azad declines offer to head Congress’ J&K campaign committee

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad. File

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad. File | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

Hours after being appointed as campaign committee head of Congress’ Jammu and Kashmir unit on August 16, Ghulam Nabi Azad resigned from the post.

Earlier today, the Congress reshuffled its unit in Jammu and Kashmir in a major shake-up and appointed Vikar Rasool Wani as the party’s state chief and Mr. Azad as the head of the campaign committee.

The party had also named Mr. Azad, who was part of the Group of 23 leaders who wrote to Sonia Gandhi in 2020 seeking a large-scale organisational overhaul, the head of the campaign committee in the Union Territory (UT).

Mr. Azad in 2020 had led a rebellion against the central leadership heading a clutch of senior leaders called G-23 who suggested a host of reforms within the party. Mr. Azad who had served eight terms in the Rajya Sabha, did not get renomination, when he retired from the Upper House in March this year. Tuesday's orders are the first step taken by the party to rehabilitate Mr. Azad.

While Mr. Wani has been appointed president of the J&K unit, Raman Bhalla has been named the party's working president in the UT. He replaces Ghulam Ahmad Mir who had tendered his resignation in July after holding the post for eight years.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has accepted the resignation of Mr. Mir from the post of president, Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee, a party statement said.

The Congress president has appointed president and working president of the J&K unit and also constituted the campaign committee, political affairs committee, coordination committee, manifesto committee, publicity and publication committee, disciplinary committee and pradesh election committee of the UT unit with immediate effect, the statement said.

Mr. Wani (46), a resident of Banihal township of Jammu region's Ramban district, is a two-time former legislator who also served as a minister during the Omar Abdullah-led National Conference-Congress coalition government between 2009-14.

Tariq Hamid Karra will be the vice chairman of the campaign committee headed by Mr. Azad, while G.M. Saroori will be its convenor, according to the statement.

The campaign committee comprises 11 leaders with PCC president and working president its permanent invitees.

Mr. Mir, Tara Chand, Thakur Balwan Singh, T.S. Bajwa, Shabir Khan, Neeraj Kundan, Abdul Majeed Wani and Fairoz Khan are also part of the campaign committee.

Ms. Gandhi also set up a political affairs committee with Mr. Karra as its chairman and it included the likes of Mr. Azad, Mr. Mir and Saifuddin Soz.

The political affairs committee also includes Peerzada M. Syed, Taj Mohiuddin, Tara Chand, Mula Ram and Khemlata Wakhlu.

The committee comprises nine leaders with AICC in-charge, PCC president and working president being permanent invitees in the panel.

The party also formed an 11-member coordination committee headed by Mr. Mir, 12-member manifesto committee under the chairmanship of Soz and nine-member publicity and publication panel led by Mula Ram.

A seven-member disciplinary committee has been formed with Taj Mohiyuddin as the chairman.

With inputs from PTI

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Printable version | Aug 17, 2022 9:29:40 am |