Major blow to Congress as 64 J&K leaders quit party in support of Ghulam Nabi Azad

They submitted a joint resignation letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

PTIUpdated: Tuesday, August 30, 2022, 03:55 PM IST
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Ghulam Nabi Azad |

As many as 64 senior Congress leaders, including former deputy chief minister Tara Chand, resigned from the party in support of Ghulam Nabi Azad here on Tuesday, asserting that Azad's vision will shape a new and bright future for Jammu and Kashmir.

They submitted a joint resignation letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Chand along with others, including former ministers Abdul Majid Wani, Manohar Lal Sharma, Gharu Ram and former MLA Balwan Singh, announced their resignations from the Congress, at a press conference.

Azad, 73, former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, ended his five-decade association with the Congress on Friday, terming the party "comprehensively destroyed" and lashing out at Rahul Gandhi for "demolishing" its entire consultative mechanism.

"Owing to the circumstances and the leadership crisis in Congress party, where a coterie surrounding party high command is calling shots in the most irresponsible manner and ruining the party.

"All of us had a very long association with the party spanning over decades and devoted all our energy and resources towards expanding the party in Jammu and Kashmir but unfortunately we found that the treatment meted out to us was humiliating," Balwan Singh said, reading out from the joint resignation letter signed by 64 leaders and senior functionaries from across Jammu province.

The letter further said "with our leader and mentor Ghulam Nabi Azad having resigned from the party on the issue listed by him in a letter to you (Sonia), we believe that we should also come out of Congress to make some worthwhile contribution in building a positive political society where people are heard and responded too.

Azad will soon launch a national-level party from Jammu and Kashmir.

"We all support Azad and we will join him in his journey to lead J&K to a bright future," they said in the resignation letter.

Claiming that Jammu and Kashmir is facing an unprecedented crisis in the absence of an elected government, Balwan Singh said Azad's decision to launch a national level party from here will inspire hope and new determination to set things right once and for all.

"We are confident that J&K will be able to get statehood back after a gap of three years under the leadership of Azad. He is the sole and most powerful voice for statehood of J&K and early elections," he said.

Singh said Azad is a perennial hope for the people of J&K for bridging gaps between regions and communities.

"We are sure that his (Azad's) vision will help J&K and its depressed masses to come out of the dark shadows of pessimism and shape a new and bright future for J&K," he said.

Over a dozen prominent Congress leaders, including former ministers and legislators, besides hundreds of Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI) members, municipal corporators and district and block level leaders have already left the Congress to join Azad over the past four days.

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