NEW DELHI: The Congress in Jammu and Kashmir launched “hath se hath jodo abhiyan” this week. However, according to sources, the momentum it was expecting to harness in the Union Territory after Rahul Gandhi’s visit is not being realised. A party insider said that there is a need of a full-time president who can revitalize the rank and file and also reach out to people and attend to issues 24/7, which is missing right now.
Moreover, top party leaders in the state were missing during the abhiyan’s launch. Word is that there is an ego clash between top leaders and state president (Vikar Rasool Wani), as they don’t find it fit to work under him.
The three top leaders who were not visible from the “hath se hath jodo abhiyan” were two ex-presidents Peerzada Mohammad Sayed, Ghulam Ahmad Mir and ex-parliamentarian Tariq Hamid Karra (also Congress Working Committee member).
A Congress leader said, “It is true that there is ego clash between leaders. There are so many senior leaders in the state, although they say nothing but they are not working in tandem with the state leadership.”
He further added, “They feel that the president is inactive for most of the time and has less acumen to build the cadre, which has dissatisfied a section of Congressmen as they expected more steady approach from Wani after the end of the yatra.” It is being seen that the current state chief is not focusing on public outreach. Congress leaders say that the most active Congress president in the past had been Mufti Mohammad Syed who would travel to places to connect with the electorate; however, Wani is, a Congress leader said, nothing in comparison to Syed.
Congress leaders resent the absence of a leader who can take along all its cadre and mobilise the people. There is a perception within the Congress camp that Wani became the president by endorsing Ghulam Nabi Azad and is now carrying on in the top position by speaking against him. Congress leaders are finding it hard to accept him in his current form which they find confusing and aimless. A senior Congress leader said, “He was an ardent follower of Azad sahab and had an appeal only among Congressmen who were with Azad. He wouldn’t move a feet without the consent of Azad. Now, as the internal dynamics of the party has changed with Azad having left the party last year, he is challenging Azad, which has created an indifferent image of his.”
An analyst in the state said, “The Congress is not able to create a favourable perception in the Union territory. It is lagging behind all other parties in the region. People seem to be associated with its grand name rather than what it is currently, a weak entity.”
He further added, “If there is no uniting force in the cadre, how can they work for political goals effectively? First they should sort out the leadership problem and only then would the party be able to create a driving force for its unit. Else, they will continue to fight among each other. More dissidence within leaders will create more resentment which will cause a wave of defection within the party.”