Jammu: Putting up a brave face in the wake of a spate of resignations by its leaders in support of Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Jammu and Kashmir unit of the Congress on Saturday said only those who were hibernating for eight years have deserted it and they will meet the same fate as that of former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh.
It lashed out Azad, a former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister who resigned from the primary membership of the party on Friday, for targeting Rahul Gandhi and said every Congressman is behind the central leadership of the party as Gandhi is the only politician in the country who has courageously stood up against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “fascist regime”.
“We see Azad’s resignation as an attempt to harm the growing popularity of the Congress, especially in Jammu and Kashmir…. Modi’s tearful farewell to the former leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha (in February 2021) was an indication of the recent developments,” working president of the Jammu and Kashmir Congress Raman Bhalla told reporters at the party office here.
Flanked by party leaders, including senior vice-president Mulla Ram, general secretaries Yogesh Sawhney and Manmohan Singh and Jammu and Kashmir Youth Congress president Uday Bhanu Chib, Bhalla said Azad’s five-page resignation letter was timed to harm the interests of the grand old party.
“Rahul Gandhi is the only mass leader who is talking about the fate of the poor under the Modi regime. He is trying to wake this deaf-and-dumb government up,” he said, adding, “He is speaking about Bharat jodo but the forces that are creating the walls of hatred are being supported.”
“The cat has finally come out of the bag as Azad’s letter has benefitted the communal forces. It is disappointing as it was the Congress that groomed him over the decades, but he walked away at a time when the party is looking forward to helping people overcome the present crisis,” the former Jammu and Kashmir minister said.
Describing Azad’s resignation letter as “unfortunate” and “condemnable”, Bhalla said the former Union minister chose a time to make it public when Congress chief Sonia Gandhi is in the United States for a medical checkup.
“The Congress is an ideology and a movement and those linked to it will always stand behind the leaders who have made numerous sacrifices for the country,” he said.
Asked about the spate of resignations by Congress leaders in support of Azad, Bhalla said, “The party is strong and this is not a setback. People come and go but if you see, only those leaders who were in hibernation for the last eight years have deserted the party.”
“They will meet the same fate as that of former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh…. In the coming weeks, you will see a strong Congress. We are united and will not allow the communal forces to damage the country,” Bhalla said.
He said Jammu and Kashmir is facing a challenging situation due to the “wrong policies” of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led (BJP) government at the Centre.
“We will continue to play our role with full might and live up to the expectations of the people,” the Congress leader said.
Responding to a question on National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah criticising the Congress over Azad’s resignation, Bhalla said he should concentrate on his own party instead of making unnecessary comments on other parties.