Srinagar: Ghulam Nabi Azad’s loyalists are campaigning for him to be declared the Chief Minister face of the Congress in Jammu and Kashmir, as well as the president of J&K Pradesh Congress Committee and they are undeterred by the controversy created by some within the party over the Padma Bhushan award given to him by the Central government.
Former minister and Congress leader Ghulam Mohammad Saroori told the media in Jammu that the central leadership of Congress should take a decision and nominate Azad as the JKPCC chief and also the CM face for the coming elections.
Earlier, Azad’s colleagues in Congress questioned his acceptance of the Padma award and rumours were flying thick and fast that he may leave the Congress. But he has indicated that he will not leave the Congress and will fight for the changes he has been demanding in the party along with his many other colleagues.
But there is usual silence from the party high command especially from the Gandhis as they neither congratulated nor reprimanded Ghulam Nabi Azad for accepting the award.
Saroori came out in support for Azad for accepting the Padma Bhushan, saying that it was the India government that gave him the award for his services to the nation.
Ghulam Nabi Azad himself has been very active in the past few months in Jammu and Kashmir and has organised many public rallies, especially in the Jammu region. Soon after Azad was not given a nod for the membership of the Rajya Sabha by the high command, he has made himself very active in Jammu and Kashmir and has mobilized his supporters not only in the Congress but also in other parties giving enough indications to the Gandhis that either they would have to declare him as Congress PCC chief or he would float his own regional outfit.
“Azad is in touch with us and with many of my other colleagues in other mainstream political parties. He can be the real hero in the present circumstances to bring back the old glory of Jammu and Kashmir if he is elected as Chief Minister,” said one of the former ministers in Srinagar who claimed that in case Azad is not given his dues respect by Congress, he may float his own outfit.
Azad has a lot of goodwill in the Jammu region above the party lines and even the BJP workers and activists are ready to give him support if he floats his own political party.