Several political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday met veteran leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is planning to launch a new national party, a day after tendering resignations from all posts of Congress.
“MLAs from Jammu and Kashmir are here. A few more-some senior leaders and ex-ministers-will come in the evening. Azad Sa’ab said a national party will be formed, we’ll begin from J&K and the upcoming poll will be fought strongly. Don’t want to reply to comments, we’ll reply with a victory,” said ex-Congress leader Salman Nizami.
The meeting came within 24 hours of Azad’s resignation from all posts in Congress and it holds importance as the polls in the valley are likely to be held later this year.
“Under the leadership of Azad ji we will launch a national party and the work will begin from Jammu and Kashmir. Azad ji will go to J&K and will form an alliance with like-minded parties and leaders. All the criticism coming Azad Ji’s way will be answered by winning elections,” ex- Congress leader Salman Nizami had earlier announced.
The decision to launch a new national party came just hours after the veteran Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, in a letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi resigned from all positions of the Congress party including the primary membership. Reactions from numerous political leaders poured in after the sudden resignation. Lawyer-turned-politician Jaiveer Shergill slammed the Congress party for its ‘coterie culture.’
Recently Shergill had resigned as Congress spokesperson. “Now a senior leader is speaking about it becoming a club of PAs and security guards and it shows that leaders across age groups are frustrated and disappointed by this entire coterie culture that is thriving in the Congress,” Shergill told to agencies.
He also slammed the upcoming Bharat Jodo Yatra by Congress and said, “Bharat Jodo is a PR gimmick. In reality, this cabal is working within Congress on ‘Congress Todo Abhiyan’, elbowing out all the well-meaning leaders. This letter speaks loudly of sentiments of thousands of well-meaning Congress workers who are troubled by this ‘Darbari’ culture.”
Rajasthan Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot on Friday took a dig at Ghulam Nabi Azad over his resignation from the party and his allegations against Rahul Gandhi and said “no one expected he would write such a letter”.
“I read the statement of Azad, he has been my friend for over 42 years, I am deeply hurt, and I have no words to express what I feel about his resignation letter. The party gave him opportunities, be it Indira Gandhi or Sanjay Gandhi. He served at many positions in the party be it being MP from Maharashtra twice, five-six times Rajya Sabha member. Congress left no dearth in giving him opportunities. Whatever identity we have in the country, it is because of Congress and the faith of high command has on us. Only a few get a chance and not everyone. It is a challenge before the high command to select. No one expected he would write such a letter,” Gehlot said.
This latest high-profile exit from the Congress party comes after the polls for the Congress President were deferred.
Azad’s resignation follows a series of exits of senior leaders from the party, including Jyotiraditya Scindia, Jaiveer Shergil, and Jitin Prasada, amongst others.