In August, Congress saw opposition from two of its top party figures. The first was Ghulam Nabi Azad, a prominent figure and a former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, who quit his position as the head of the J&K Congress campaign committee on August 16 just hours after being appointed to it. He also left the state Congress unit’s Political Affairs Committee. Further, he renounced his primary membership in the party on August 26.
Azad was upset for two reasons. Since he was already a member of the Political Affairs Committee of Congress, he initially considered his appointment to the two positions as a demotion. Secondly, his close aide Ghulam Ahmed Mir was replaced as Congress state President by Vikar Rasool Wani, which contributed to him feeling marginalised.
The final publishing of the voters’ list will now take place on November 25, even though the Election Commission has not yet released a schedule for the polls in Jammu and Kashmir. Following the delimitation exercise there, this will be the first list of this kind to be created in the UT.
After the delimitation process is finished and the final electoral rolls are prepared, it is anticipated that the elections in J&K will take place. Azad has, incidentally, held several significant positions inside the Congress central party as well as a position as a minister of the Union.
Later, he joined the group of 23 (G-23), a group of party officials who demanded organisational changes in a letter to Sonia Gandhi two years ago, and as a result, he is now viewed by many as a rebellious voice.
Sharma Quit Over ‘Exclusion And Insults’
Anand Sharma, another G-23 member, recently expressed his unhappiness at being ignored in the debate over how the party is run in Himachal Pradesh. Elections in the state are scheduled for later this year.
Sharma was appointed the head of the Himachal Pradesh Congress steering committee but left the position because he believed he was being purposefully ignored in terms of the assembly election preparation. Sharma stated in a letter of complaint addressed to Sonia Gandhi that “self-respect is non-negotiable.”
The senior leader also said on Twitter that he had “resigned with a heavy heart” and repeated that he has served in Congress all of his adult life and that he still stands by his beliefs.
He stated in another tweet, “There should be no ambiguity about the fact that I am devoted to the philosophy of the Congress. I had no other choice, though, as a self-respecting person, given the ongoing exclusion and insults.”
The position Sharma was given in the state did not fit with his status in the Congress Working Committee, of which he is a member. Although his opponents interpreted his decision to leave the position as a sign that he was cosying up to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Sharma was quick to dispel any speculation about his departure from the party.
However, the senior leader did not mince words in conveying that internal factionalism and strife was probably the biggest rival of the Congress as it seeks to upstage the ruling BJP.
“There is no doubt the Congress has a distinct edge, but factionalism is a matter of concern. It can certainly hurt our prospects,” he said, putting things into perspective.