Notwithstanding claims made in the much-publicized meeting of the coordination committee of the J&K Congress held on Sunday, the party finds it difficult to keep its flock together because leaders continue to desert the grand old party.
Although AICC in charge of J&K Rajni Patil is trying to establish contact with loyalists of Azad, the spree of resignations is going unabated.
While former Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand is yet to announce joining Azad's camp, four more Congress leaders, including former deputy speaker of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Gulam Hyder Malik, and a dozen prominent workers of the Apni Party resigned from their respective parties on Monday in support of veteran politician Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Malik, a former Congress MLA from Kathua's Bani, and two former MLCs — Subash Gupta from Kathua and Sham Lal Bhagat from Doda — separately forwarded their resignation letters to the party high command.
"We have received the letters (of support) from Malik, Gupta and Bhagat," Azad's close aide and former minister G M Saroori said.
General secretary of the Jammu and Kashmir Congress Maheshwar Singh Manhas also resigned from the party in support of Azad.
In a related development, 12 workers of the Apni Party from Doda, including its district president Asgar Hussain Khanday, district general secretary Virender Kumar Sharma and district vice-president (women's wing) Promila Sharma, resigned from the primary membership of the party and extended their support to Azad, who hails from Bhaderwah town in Doda.
Four former ministers meet Azad in Delhi, likely to submit resignations
Former Deputy Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Tara Chand, former ministers Abdul Majid Wani, Manohar Lal Sharma, and Gharu Ram, and former MLA Balwan Singh met Azad in Delhi and are likely to announce their loyalty to him on Tuesday after resigning from the Congress, reports 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 resigned from the party to join Azad, who will soon launch a national-level political outfit from Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, hundreds of supporters of ex-MLA Surankote Choudhary Mohammad Akram joined in a larger number to show their support for Azad.
Block presidents of Congress from Bufliaz, Surankote, and Lassana have resigned from their posts and offered their support to Azad. Sarpanchs from 43 Panchayats, hundreds of Panchs, Members & BDC Block Surankote Nazir Hussain also joined in support of Choudhary Mohammad Akram.
Saleem Choudhary, Farooq Ahmed, Waseem Farhad, district, and Farooq Choudhary have also resigned from their respective positions and stood in support of Azad.
Meanwhile, Youth Congress general secretary Nimrandeep Singh Bhullar along with Ranjit Chopra, general secretary; Brinder Pratap Singh Bhatyal, secretary PYC; Youth Congress District president Samba, Sushil Bhagat, and Youth Congress Assembly president Sumit Kumar Bhagat resigned from the Congress party and its basic membership.