Jammu: After months of hot and cold, there are evident signs of rapprochement in the Congress ‘ecosystem’ in Jammu and Kashmir as veteran Parliamentarian Ghulam Nabi Azad touched down with the state’s organizational leadership.
Azad arrived in Jammu Saturday morning to join state leadership of the Congress on the occasion of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s death anniversary at the party headquarters here. The Congress veteran’s Jammu visit was after a significant recess even as he continued to address a few meetings over the telephone.
Getting together of Ghulam Nabi Azad along with state Congress president Ghulam Ahmed Mir and working president Raman Bhalla at an official party event was a significant sign of reconciliation in backdrop of a year-and-half long heightened factional politics.
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Congress factions in Jammu and Kashmir fell apart in open early 2021 when Ghulam Nabi Azad put out a massive G-23 show in Jammu along with other veterans of the group. The G-23, which included Azad, Kapil Sibal, Bhoopinder Hooda, Anand Sharma and other senior leaders, had left the Congress leadership annoyed with public suggestions on organisational reforms.
The effects of G-23 versus the first family of Congress were clearly evident in Jammu and Kashmir. A major section of senior leaders sided with Azad who carried out a series of public meetings across Jammu and Kashmir.
Azad’s approval of some of the Modi Government policies, his decoration with the Padma award and him criticising some of his own colleagues, such as Salman Khurshid on his book, further deepened the schism.
In the recent past both sides were seen lowering the ranks and eventually some reconciliation appeared to have secured before the Congress ‘Chintan Shivir’ at Udaipur where Azad was seen in the front ranks.
At the Congress headquarters in Jammu today, Azad was seen warming up to Mir and Raman Bhalla. He made several comments to suggest to the audience that he was connecting well with the both. While commenting on the Delimitation Commission Report, Azad said it’s a tailor-made report. For example, he said, “there is one size for me, another for Mir and yet another for Bhalla”. This has all the Congress gentry in smiles.
After the symbolic event of ‘togetherness’ in Jammu, the state Congress leadership is holding a conclave at the hill station of Patni Top in the first week of June. The Patni Top conclave is a Jammu and Kashmir specific event tailored on the lines of the Udaipur conclave.
Below is the official statement of Congress
Paying rich tributes to the Former Prime Minister Shri Rajiv Gandhi on his 31st Martyrdom today, Senior AICC Leader and Former J&K Chief Minister Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad said that Rajiv Ji sacrificed his life for the unity and integrity of the country. He cautioned the people against the politics of hate, stating that it is dangerous for the unity and integrity of the nation.
Addressing a function organized by JKPCC, presided over by JKPCC Chief G.A. Mir and attended by prominent leaders, former Ministers/Legislators and activists at party HQ Shaheedi Chowk Jammu here today, Shri Azad said that former prime minister Shri Rajiv Gandhi and Smt. Indira Gandhi laid down their life for the unity and integrity of the country and did not compromise on the principle of unity in diversity and national interests.
The strength of the nation lies in the unity in diversity and the spread of hate amongst the society is weakening the nation. He said Congress and its leadership always promoted religious brotherhood and harmony in the society as Hindu, Muslim, Sikh unity is very vital for the strength of our pluralistic nation, asserted the Azad.
He recalled the contributions of Rajiv Gandhi as Prime Minister on various fronts especially in the field of science and technology and Panchayat Raj system in the country, which are his biggest gifts to the nation.
He recalled that Rajiv Gandhi Ji called him to his residence in 1987, when he (Azad) was General Secretary of the party and showed him the first computer. He introduced the Computer and IT in the country as a result several top dignitaries of the world , used to visit Hyderabad to learn about IT and computers. Today India is the leader in the World in the field of IT & Computer because of the timely lead taken by Rajiv Gandhi and it provided the biggest source of employment to the youth in the country and abroad.
Azad said that Rajiv Gandhi gave the Panchayat Raj system to the Country whereby women got 33% reservation besides SCs & STs at each tier of Panchayat Raj regime in the country. He said that it transformed and percolated down the democracy to the grass root level.
He said Rajiv Gandhi was a visionary leader who had vision for the youth of the Country and prepared them for the challenges and opportunities of 21st Century.
Azad said that Congress always gave capable and visionary leadership to the Country right from Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, P.V. Narsimha Rao and Dr. Manmohan Singh, who took the country to the newer heights of progress and all round development.
He asked the party cadres to work for the peace and harmony and strengthening of Congress party to fight the communal and divisive forces and defeat politics of hate.
JKPCC President Shri G.A. Mir in his address paid rich tributes to the former Prime Minister Shri Rajiv Gandhi and recalled his great contributions to the nation during his short time
Mir said that Rajiv Ji gave the direction to the India of 21st Century and the youth of the country could face the challenges due to the orientation and opportunities offered by the visionary leadership of Rajiv Gandhi Ji. Revolution in the field of telephones, computer & IT are all the gifts of Rajiv’s vision, he added.
He said that the democracy at grass root level and to the door step of people was introduced by Raqjiv Gandhi by 73rd & 74th amendment of the Constitution. The PR system got constitutional status in the country with regular elections and 33% representation to women and SC/STs at each levels.
He recalled the contributions of Congress in the building of the nation and criticized those distorting facts and misleading the people being ignorant of Congress history.
Mir asked the party leaders that it is time to pay back to the party and strengthen it, which is need of the nation. He said that party leaders should rise above their self interests and work for the strengthening of the party, as resolved in the Udaipur Chintan Shivar.
He announced that a similar Shivar of J&K leaders would be held at Patni op on 1st & 2nd June 2022 to discuss the strategy and roadmap for strengthening party in Jammu and Kashmir.
Earlier Working President Raman Bhalla paid rich tributes in a brief address on the occasion. He recalled the visionary leadership of Shri Rajiv Gandhi who was the youngest Prime Minister of the Country and gave priority leadership to the youth including lowering of voting rights from 21 years to 18 years.
Senior functionaries of PCC, Ex-legislators, Dist. Presidents, Heads of Frontal Wings besides prominent activists attended the function.
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