Congress’ signature ‘two camps cadre’ has choked the normal functioning of the party in the union territory.


NEW DELHI: The final leg of the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Kashmir may have brought the Congress’ Jammu and Kashmir cadre together, but there are many intrinsic fault lines within the cadre, according to a Congress leader, which may have emerged again after the yatra’s end.
According to party leaders, there is a constant tussle between ex-state president G.A. Mir and the current president Vikar Rasool Wani. The former president is unlikely to comply with the current president and has been covertly seeking a change in the leadership. This has again led to Congress’ signature “two camps cadre” which has choked the normal functioning of the party in the Union territory. However, Vikar’s camp has not fully taken shape.
During the yatra, Congress had made sure that no open discord between the dissenting leaders takes place in the states the yatra traversed through. This had made Congress’ non-political and the “yatra-as-a-unifier” narrative stronger and more sustainable. But Kashmir is a different story. During the Azad years, the whole second line leadership in Congress in the Union territory was “sabotaged” by him and the new leaders were not given enough space to blossom. “The new president we have today is neither inclusive nor progressive, who would they choose next if they have to? They don’t have much of a choice,” a Congress leader said. A Congress leader, while pointing out the leadership mismanagement, said that preparations for the yatra were not sufficient in the Jammu region. “The reasons for that may not be clear, but there was unhappiness over the arrangements in the division.”
Experts say, if the Congress in the state does not straighten its priority of strengthening its organisational structure by bringing in meritorious leaders into official positions, it will be hard for the party to go for electioneering. “They could even lose the seats they are strong on, if they fail to work together. The Congress’ internal conflict will directly benefit other state parties.”