Two names that are making the rounds in party circles are of Tariq Hamid Karra and G.M. Suroori.
New Delhi: After a long wait, directionless Congress in Kashmir may finally get a new state unit president. The party leaders believe the new appointment, if made wisely, may at least bring the state rank and file in order and help it to emerge as a competitive front in the coming Assembly elections expected to be held within eight months. The two names that are making the rounds in the party circles are Tariq Hamid Karra and G.M. Suroori.
Karra had won the general assembly constituency of Srinagar in 2014 on PDP ticket, giving first ever defeat to Dr Farooq Abdullah by 40,000 votes. Being a fierce critic of the PDP-BJP alliance, he went on to resign from Lok Sabha and PDP in 2016. In 2017, after joining Congress, the party made him the member of the Congress Working Committee. Also, he became the first politician nominated for the CWC from the Kashmir Valley.
On the other hand, Suroori, a Congress man and three-time MLA from Inderwal constituency of Kishtwar district, represented the constituency from 2002 to 2018 and is considered to be a loyalist of Ghulam Nabi Azad. Party leaders believe, Suroori is being lobbied by Azad.
Moreover, when there was a mass resignation of around 20 politicians claiming current state unit president, G.A. Mir, responsible for crisis in the party, Suroori was one among the resigning politicians. The party leaders believe there could be much thinking about giving the state presidency to Karra, “he represents an ideology”, a party leader said. Due to that, according to the leaders, he could anytime give a statement against the party line and hurt Congress.
As far as his personality is concerned, party leaders indicated that the central leadership of the party has signalled that they do not want to allow any “Sidhu-like” situation in Kashmir. It is worthy to mention that before the Assembly elections in Punjab, Sidhu had been giving statements against his own party for not being able to deal with the challenging administrative situations.
A Congress leader said, “It will take at least one month for the name to be finalised.” He further added, “There is political uncertainty; once the situation becomes calm around the party, the decision over the name will be taken. Both are senior leaders and both are big names.” Iftikhar Misgar, a Kashmir-based political analyst, said, “Congress is a cadre-based organisation, and in a cadre-based organisation, people see many difficulties while reaching up the political ladder. Tariq has a very good political background, he is a very credible person in Kashmir politics, but when it comes to Congress, they have to see how his nomination can be fit for other regions like Jammu, they or in Pir Panchaal, which is the Congress’ stronghold.”