Drawing zero, calls for Azad’s ouster go loud within JK Congress

Srinagar, May 24: Amid speculations of Congress President Rahul Gandhi offering to quit owing to humiliating drubbing in the elections, Voices of descent in Party’s Jammu and Kashmir Unit against a stalwart leader- considered to be close to Gandhi family -has also began gaining momentum, with some terming him as a mere ‘ liability’ who has not been able to win votes for party candidate even from his own assembly segment. The party leaders are upset with the former Chief Minister and leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad who was the chairman of the Campaigning Committee in the state – for not taking the contest in the J&K seriously and giving the BJP virtually a ‘walkover’ in the Jammu and Ladakh regions. Many senior congress leaders in the party told RNA that Azad did not hold even a single meeting of the nine member Campaigning committee in the state which led to fragmentation of the party, resulting in the debacle.
While accusing him of being politically ‘selfish’, the local congress leaders said that the former Chief Minister did not even cast his own vote and did not bother to take others along.
Sources in the party said that the absence of understanding and cohesiveness in the congress team led to a huge debacle for party in the Jammu and Ladakh regions. They said even in Azad’s home consistency, the BJP candidate and Union Minister Dr. Singh secured a whopping lead of more than three and a half lakh votes which is more than what Azad secured in totality when he contested against Singh in 2014. They blamed Azad of trying to hide his failures and alleged that he was scared of contesting the elections.
“If Rahul Gandhi can contest elections, why can’t Azad. He is not contesting assembly elections and is running away from Parliament elections as well. So how can he be a guiding force and an inspiration for others. He wants to play safe which is costing the party immensely.” A senior leader of the JKPCC said.
Another leader revealed that Azad- who was the chairman of the campaign committee in J&K- has not held even a single meeting of the committee and preferred to go solo with an intention to take the credit in case of a win.
“Have you ever seen that a campaigning committee constituted for the elections actually ends up never meeting during the whole process.” questioned a senior leader of the party who was part of the committee, adding that now when a debacle has come their way, he ( Azad) must be ready to reap the dividends of dis-credit also.
He called the former Chief Minster a ‘conspirator’ who resorts to ‘ negative politics’ indulging in ‘ revenge tactics’ if someone doesn’t agree with him.
“He did it against Prof. Soz also and has been doing even now. Nobody in the party is feeling comfortable with him but they don’t speak fearing he would conspire against them and would ensure that they lose in the elections.” a leader in the party told RNA, adding that they would only get his emailed chopper schedule from Delhi during the campaigning.
“He used to come and go. Chopper rides won’t win you the elections. See at BJP, they sent leaders who camped in Jammu, Udampur, Dooda, Ladakh and held extensive campaigning. Instead Azad was coming and going. Touch and Go was what he did and this can’t win you elections.” another leader who was privy to the developments said. He claimed that lakhs of Muslims voted for BJP in Rajouri and Pch and Azad was never serious to reach out to them .
“BJP’s public support was at the lowest ebb, but they have strong organisation which won them this election. We had public support but a weak organisation which could not channelize that support properly due to old, obsolete tactics.” Said the leader stressing for a huge overhaul of the organisation.
“Rahul Gandhi must be ruthless to rise from the debacle. He must roll heads. If the congress has to survive and make a comeback, heads must roll and Rahul Gandhi must be decisive and throw these leaders out.” demanded the visibly agitated leaders in J&K congress.
According to sources, the local Unit of Congress was up in arms against the leader and might demand him to shoulder the responsibility of the poor performance in J&K.
“Everything has an expiry date. He has reached to optimum expiry and must consider sitting back now. He is not contesting elections, nor is he helping others to win, so what for do we need him in the party. He must go now.” demanded a senior leader. (RNA)