Doda: Days after Jammu and Kashmir’s senior politician Ghulam Nabi Azad left the grand old party Congress and is scheduled to come up with a new political party in the erstwhile state, at least twelve members of Altaf Bukhari-led Apni Party from Azad’s hometown Doda, have resigned in support of Azad who is latest in a series of high-profile leaders who exited Congress.
As per the documents, in possession of Free Press Kashmir, twelve Apni Party members have resigned from the basic membership of Altaf Bukhari’s party in support of Azad as the senior politician is scheduled to launch a new party in the Union Territory.
This would be the second major new political party in Jammu and Kashmir after August 5, 2019. In 2020, businessman-turned-politician Syed Altaf Bukhari launched a new political party.
The resigned members from Doda include Asgar Hussain Khanday District President Apni Party, Verinder Kumar Sharma District General Secretary, Promila Sharma District Vice President Mahila Morcha, Mushtaq Ahmad Hajam Block President Hajam Thathri, Javed Iqbal Butt Senior Vice President Block Thathri, Ghulam Haider Block Vice President, Javed Ahmed Block Secretary, Ghulam Hussian Zargar General Secretary, Ashiq Hussain Butt Secretary, Nisar Ahmad Zargar Member Panchayat Thathri A as well as Block Secretary, Abdul Kabir Member Panchayat Thathri A and Joint Secretary, and Mohammad Ashraf Member Panchayat Thathri A and Office Bearer.
In the last few days, many Jammu and Kashmir politicians have resigned from their parties and are hopeful to join yet to be launched Azad’s party.
On Friday, soon after Azad’s resignation, at least six former MLAs, some of them ministers in erstwhile State government, resigned from the grand old party.
While five of them tendered a joint resignation, another politician, R S Chib submitted it separately but all of them have done it in support of Azad, the ex-Health minister of India, former leader of Opposition in Parliament and ex-Chief Minister of JK.
“Over the years as a member of the Congress Party, it has been my sincere endeavour to work for the betterment of my State – Jammu & Kashmir. I feel that in the prevailing circumstances Congress Party has lost its momentum in contributing towards the future of my State,” Chib, a close confidant of Azad said in the letter to party present Sonia Gandhi.
“Keeping in view the turmoil that the State of J&K has witnessed over the past decades, the people require a decisive leader like Jb Ghulam Nabi Azad to guide them towards a better future. I feel that the Congress Party has not been able to play the role that is expected of it,” reads the letter.
“I firmly believe that there is a growing divergence between my views and the views of those at the helm of the Party affairs. In light of the same, I feel that the best course of action would be for me to part ways with your Party,” he said, adding, “Accordingly, I am tendering my resignation from the primary membership of the Indian National Congress.”
Others who tendered joint resignation include GM Saroori, Choudhary Muhammad Akram, Muhammad Amin Bhat, Gulzar Ahmad and Abdur Rashid Dar.
Later on Saturday, not tolerating the criticism against All India Congress Committee (AICC) Vice president, Rahul Gandhi, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) member and former Member of Parliament, Tariq Hameed Karra repulsed back to Ghulam Nabi Azad for targeting Gandhi and said it was Azad who made the proposal and passed it for Rahul’s presidential post.
Karra also said that the things in Congress for Azad started changing soon after Narendra Modi made it clear that he (Azad) will not be wasted and he will soon be appointed for a special mission.
“Azad has been working independently in JK for the past some months and raising queries over the leadership of Congress,” Karra said as per the news agency Kashmir News Observer while addressing a presser and that is why Azad is showing resentment only when Congress president is out for either health reasons or something else.
“Congress party for the past several months are firm to fight out the divisive forces, who are against the pluralism policy and challenge the secularism as well and have done complete polarization on Mandir, Masjid and Hindu, Muslims,” he said, adding that there was no mention of ideological differences anywhere in Azad’s resignation his letter, but it was purely on personal grounds and seemingly, which indicates his differences with the ideology of the party.
“His resignation was not surprising for me as Azad was given a tearful farewell after his retirement in Rajya Sabha under a newly found bonhomie. The PM had also said that we will not get Azad wasted and he will be soon appointed for a special mission and work. Azad has been independently working in J&K and raising questions over the leadership of Congress since then,” he said.
Targeting Rahul Gandhi is contrary to the facts as it was Azad who made the entire presidential document for him and played a key role to ensure the post to Rahul Gandhi.
“Even Azad had also pitched that Rahul should be given the right to choose his members on his own and appoint CWC members as well.”
Questioning the timing of Azad’s resignation, he said what prompted him to raise questions over Rahul Gandhi between 2013 to 2018.
“If he is an ethically empowered politician, he should have resigned at that time. He had enough time to show his resentment, which he never did,” Karra said. “The newfound bonhomie is very clear and it is only after that the thing starts unfolding.”
Furthermore, he said that BJP has once again succeeded in the fragmentation process by Azad’s resignation, which may be in the shape of a new political party or through facilitation.
“However, as far as Congress is concerned, Azad might have resigned from the party along with some beneficiaries from time to time, the cadre and those who have a philosophical and ideological affinity with the party will continue to be part of the party and fight against the new fragmentation attempt,” he said.
Apni Party president Syed Altaf Bukhari also accused Azad of being hand in glove with BJP, and held him responsible for the abrogation of the special status of JK. Bukhari said Azad is directly responsible for the abrogation of the Article 370.
“People of Jammu & Kashmir are not fools. People know with whom you have shaken hands. They know with whom you had struck a deal and backstabbed the people of Jammu & Kashmir,” he said.
Pertinently, Azad resigned on Friday, from all posts of the party citing the “immaturity” of Rahul Gandhi whom he blamed for “demolishing the consultative mechanism” in the party.
In a hard-hitting 5 page note to party interim president Sonia Gandhi, Azad claimed that a coterie runs the party while she was just a nominal head and all the major decisions were taken by “Shri Rahul Gandhi or rather worse his security guards and PAs”.
The development comes days after Azad resigned from the organizational post of Jammu and Kashmir.
Hitting out at Rahul Gandhi, Azad wrote, “Since the 2019 elections the situation in the party has only worsened. After. Rahul Gandhi stepped down in a ‘huff’ and not before insulting all the senior Party functionaries who have given their lives to the party in a meeting of the extended Working Committee, you took over as interim President. A position that you have continue to hold even today for the past three years.”
Several politicians from Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday met veteran politician Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is planning to launch a new national party, a day after tendering resignations from all posts of Congress.