Giving a big jolt to Congress, 64 leaders including former Deputy Chief Minister and a Dalit face of the party in Jammu and Kashmir, Tara Chand resigned in support of Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday.
Interestingly these senior leaders submitted their mass resignations when Rajni Patil - the special emissary of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, landed in Jammu to open channels of communications with the loyalists of Azad.
Former Deputy Chief Minister and ex-speaker of J&K Legislative Assembly Tara Chand, former ministers Abdul Majid Wani, Dr. Manohar Lal, Choudhary Garu Ram, and Thakur Balwan Singh are prominent Congress leaders who resigned from the party to extend support to Azad.
The resignation of Tara Chand is a big jolt for Congress because it was only last week that he had attended the coronation of the newly appointed J&K Congress president Vikar Rasool Wani. After attending the coronation function at Srinagar, it was widely believed that Tara Chand has shifted his loyalty but he submitted his resignation on Tuesday.
A three-time MLA, Tara Chand was earlier a Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader in the assembly of the erstwhile state of J&K. He was Deputy Chief Minister during the NC-Congress regime from 2008 to 2014 and Speaker during the PDP-Congress coalition government from 2002 to 2008.
Congress leaders submit mass resignations
Although loyalists of Ghulam Nabi Azad were in touch with their leader, they decided to submit mass resignations when Rahul Gandhi's special emissary Rajni Patil reached Jammu to hold dialogue with dissidents.
Amid a spree of resignations, the party high command has asked Rajya Sabha member Rajni Patil to contact loyalists of Azad in J&K.
Rajni Patil is the All India Congress Committee (AICC) incharge of the J&K unit of the Congress party. Rajni Patil reached Jammu on Tuesday afternoon with the newly appointed Jammu and Kashmir Congress president Vikar Rasool Wani.
As reported earlier, in the wake of a spate of resignations by loyalists of Ghulam Nabi Azad, the central leadership has asked Rajni Patil to open a channel of communication with those who owe their allegiance to the former leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha.
It was decided that Congress leadership will contact those loyalists of Azad who have yet not submitted their resignations.
We have no option but to resign: Tara Chand
Interacting with media persons after submitting resignations with other leaders, Tara Chand said that they have no option but to quit the party to the prevailing situation.
"Instead of listening to the voice of deserving people, Congress leadership is deciding on the directions of sycophants so we decided to quit the party in support of our leader Ghulam Nabi Azad", he said.