New Delhi: Amid speculation of elections being conducted in Kashmir next year, the Congress is facing some serious challenges from within. The Kashmir unit of the Congress has started to limp as 23 party members have sent their resignations to Sonia Gandhi, bypassing the state unit party president and blaming the present leadership of G.A. Mir of being incapable. Infighting in Kashmir Congress started after the Congress saw chaos within its Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Punjab units.
Congress had been in power in Jammu and Kashmir from 2005 to 2008 under Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and since then, the party hasn’t been able to get power as regional parties like the National Conference and PDP dominated electoral contests. After the abrogation of Article 370, most parties have plunged into chaos, and the Congress has reached a point where its leaders don’t want to continue with the same leadership.
Congress leaders say that Mir has been holding the president’s post despite him losing in elections. The 23 members who have tendered their resignation are considered close to Azad and have revolted against Congress party president Kashmir unit, G.A. Mir, saying he has been incapable of leading the party.
G.A. Mir told The Sunday Guardian that he hasn’t receive any communication regarding any resignation and should have been communicated about any grievance before talking to the media, “They should have trusted the leadership and not gone to press in public, by going public, they are damaging the party and not benefiting the party.”
Mir added, “Had I received any communication, I would definitely have asked them about their grievances. Whatever would have been in the interests of the party, we would have done that.”
One of the signatories of the resignation letter asked how they could write to him (G.A. Mir) when the letter is against him. The letter has reached the party high command and there have already been 200 members who have left the party due to weakness of the president. “We had been saying at least now make the party strong,” the signatory said. Ghulam Nabi Monga, who is among the signatories who tendered his resignation to Sonia Ghandhi, said: “We want the party to be strong and to strengthen it, we want a leader having an inclusive approach and who is capable of taking all along with him. We will work together when our leader is strong.” Shamas Irfan, a senior journalist based in Kashmir, told The Sunday Guardian: “In Kashmir, there are a lot of issues on which a national party like Congress can talk and taken a stand on, but because of infighting and mistrust within the party and leadership, the focus of the Congress seems to have lost after the Azad’s time.” He also said that the Congress in Kashmir is confused between national level and regional level politics. “What you can say in Kashmir, cannot be said in New Delhi,” he said, adding, they are trying to find that middle ground which does not help “electorally” and that “middle ground does not get votes”.