After Ghulam Nabi Azad retired from Rajya Sabha, the infamous dissidents of Congress held a rally in Jammu to felicitate Azad. Many quoted it as a ‘show of strength’ to challenge the party leadership. After quitting Congress, as Ghulam Nabi Azad plans to float his own party, the numerics of Jammu-Kashmir politics is all set to be turned upside down.
Azad’s resignation: A jolt to Congress
On 26th August, veteran politician Ghulam Nabi Azad ended his five-decade long stint with Congress and wrote a fiery five-page resignation letter to Sonia Gandhi. Azad, in his letter, blamed the decline of Congress on “childish” Rahul Gandhi and asserted that the next Congress president who will be a ‘chosen one’ can’t restore the party’s legacy.
While Azad’s exit was predicted as a lone incident, reports suggest that Ghulam Nabi Azad quitting the party has triggered a row of mass exodus in Jammu and Kashmir Congress. Congress giant Taj Moinuddin has also quit the party to the Ghulam Nabi Azad led front.
The entry of Ghulam Nabi Azad with a new party in the political spectrum of J&K
After Azad called the quit, eight senior leaders of the party have already resigned. While 1500 karykartas have also ditched Congress. And all are set to support Azad in his new venture.
Azad as he reaches Jammu on 4th september has announced to launch a national party in the next 14 days starting from his own region, Jammu and Kashmir. The new party that would be floated by Ghulam Nabi Azad is set to contest the upcoming Jammu and Kashmir elections and Azad would be the chief ministerial face of the new party, said his close aide and former minister GM Saroori.
Saroori added that Azad’s resignation has resulted in a mass exodus from the J&K Congress and claimed that with this Jammu and Kashmir will soon become Congress-free.
Who is Azad for J&K
To everyone’s knowledge, Azad is still among the tallest leaders of Jammu and Kashmir and has served as the CM of the region from 2005-2008. During his tenure, he outrightly rejected the rising militancy in the region and called out the political opportunists who used it to plunge the valley into a prolonged period of darkness. However, the Congress could not digest it and the wings of Ghulam Nabi Azad were clipped.
Ghulam Nabi joined the bandwagon of G-23 leaders and while remaining a Congress loyalists, he launched multiple attacks on the mother-son duo, Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. He is still being looked upon as a progressive leader in the region.
Azad’s decision to float a new party also advocates for his direction of approach. At a time when parties like Congress do not want to contest in the assembly election of Jammu and Kashmir, Azad comes as a support to the purpose of democracy. In the current times, as Azad has left Congress, Congress now has no stake in the ‘Kashmir conversation’.
The road ahead
The people of Jammu and Kashmir have lost all hopes in separatrist leaders like Mehbooba and the Abdullahs. Congress holds no stakes there. Azad’s decision to form a new party is ultimately going to benefit the BJP, who has welcomed Azad’s step of floating a new party. J&K BJP spokesperson Altaf Thakur said Ghulam Nabi Azad forming a political party is a welcome step, as “everybody in democracy has the right to form a political party. It’s premature to say whether he could become the CM of J&K or not,”
Although, the risk to reward ratio is high, the BJP does not shy away from taking odd risks. New politics will soon be seen in the region. But will the BJP and Azad tie up, this only time can tell.
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