Srinagar: Congress not nominating former J&K chief minister and its senior leader, Ghulam Nabi Azad, for the forthcoming Rajya Sabha elections is an indication that the party may be planning to give him a bigger role in Jammu and Kashmir.
According to the Congress insiders, the loyalists of the former chief minister had suggested to the party high command that Azad should be given a frontal role in the Union Territory to revive the Congress in Jammu and Kashmir.
Senior Congress leader said that they had suggested to the party high command to make Azad contest the Lok Sabha elections from Rajouri-Poonch-Anantnag constituency “and it seems” that their suggestion has been accepted by the top leadership.
A source said hat Azad has himself turned down the offer to contest the Rajya Sabha elections as he wants to concentrate on Jammu and Kashmir. “Azad is aware of the fact that the Congress Party in J&K needs a strong leader and a known face. The coming Lok Sabha and assembly elections are crucial for every party, including Congress.”
He said, “Congress leaders from JK have held one to one meetings with Azad and have apprised him about the prevailing situation in the Union Territory. Azad getting a frontal role will boost the morale of the party cadres and will restore their shaken confidence.”
It’s in place to mention here that Congress on Sunday announced 10 candidates for the June 10 RS polls. The names of G-23 leaders including Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma didn’t figure in the list.
During the past few months the relations between the Congress high command and the G-23 rebel leaders of the party led by Ghulam Nabi Azad have improved. It appears that the Congress high command has agreed in principle to project Azad as the party’s face in Jammu and Kashmir. “To rebuild the Congress Party in Jammu and Kashmir is not going to be an easy task for Azad, he will have to work very hard especially in Jammu region, which used to be the party’s bastion till 2014,” an analyst told Precious Kashmir.
He said, “If Azad returns to JK politics he can explore many options from contesting Lok Sabha polls to assembly elections. It seems Azad has made a calculative move by staying away from Rajya Sabha elections. Returning the Upper house would have confined his political activities.”