Although 'rebel' Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has denied forming a new political party to contest assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, he said that anything can happen in politics. Azad's statement has added woes to Congress leadership in J&K because he (Azad) has the potential to spoil the party's prospects in the coming assembly elections.
The incumbent Congress leadership headed by Ghulam Ahmed Mir is already worried after Azad received encouraging response during his tour in both the Jammu region and Kashmir Valley respectively.
"Chances of the formation of a new political party is not completely ruled out but we are waiting for some time to take a final decision", a loyalist of Azad said.
Wishing anonymity the Congress leader said that Ghulam Nabi Azad was not in a hurry to take any decision. "Azad is exploring all possibilities, he is in touch with leaders of other parties also", he said.
Makes a veiled attack on incumbent Congress leadership
Launching a veiled attack on incumbent Congress leadership headed by Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, Azad said unlike the time of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, there is no place for criticism today.
"No one is challenging the leadership. Perhaps, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Ji had given me too much freedom to question when things were going wrong. They would never mind criticism. They would not see it as offensive. Today the leadership sees it as offensive," a news channel quoting Azad reported.
Azad recalled that Indira Gandhi had encouraged him when he refused to appoint two people she recommended as general secretaries in the Youth Congress.
"When Rajiv Gandhi joined politics, Indira Gandhi called both of us and told Rajiv Gandhi that Ghulam Nabi can even say no to me, but that No doesn't mean disobeying or disrespect, that's for the good of the party. Today, No one is ready to listen to that no. For saying no you become nobody today," he said.
"No one can say what will happen next in politics like no one knows when he will die. In politics, no one can predict what will happen next, but I have no intention to form a party", Azad replied to the query regarding the formation of a new political party.
Completes first-phase of his mass contact programme
After addressing a series of public meetings in twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri, Congress stalwart Ghulam Nabi Azad completed his mass-contact programme. This programme was started with a Diwali Milan function at Jammu in the first week of November. In this non-political function, Azad had invited leaders of all political parties and social organizations to start interacting with people of all shades of the society.
Azad claimed that he started this programme only to revive political activities in Jammu and Kashmir.
"There is a disconnect between people and leadership for the last over two years. Since August 5, 2019, when the state was downgraded, Article 370 was revoked and all political activities stopped, thousands were jailed. Those outside jails were not allowed to carry out political activities", he said.
"So I found a window and started these activities, thankfully other parties are doing it now. We started and woke them up as well," the news channel quoting Azad reported.