SRINAGAR: With an eye on the Assembly elections, the Congress on Tuesday appointed former minister Vikar Rasool Wani as the new president of Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC).
While former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad was appointed head of the 11-member Campaign Committee, he conveyed his disinclination to accept it.
According to a statement released by Congress General Secretary KV Venugopal, party president Sonia Gandhi has appointed senior party leader Vikar Rasool Wani as the new J&K Congress chief. She has also accepted the resignation of outgoing J&K Congress chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir, who resigned from the post on July 7.
Vikar, who hails from Banihal area of Ramban district of Jammu province, is close to Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Vikar was a frontrunner among the six candidates, shortlisted for the J&K Congress chief’s post by party leaders last month. Senior party leader and former minister Raman Bhalla will continue to be the working president of the party.
Ghulam Nabi Azad, the former Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Rajya Sabha and a member of the Congress dissidents’ group, G-23, was appointed as the head of the 11-member campaign committee. As the head of the campaign committee, Azad will lead the party in the first-ever Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir. The polls are likely to be held next year.
During interactions with the party leaders in New Delhi last month, all Jammu and Kashmir Congress leaders unanimously demanded that Azad should lead the poll campaign in J&K as he is popular among people in both the regions, Jammu and Kashmir. In fact, J&K Congress leaders have been stressing about nominating Azad as the party’s chief ministerial candidate.
The Congress also restructured the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) of J&K Congress and appointed Tariq Hameed Karra as its chairman. In the nine-member PAC committee headed by Karra, Azad will also be a member. Karra was the founding member of PDP and he quit the party in 2016 during agitation triggered by Hizb commander Burhan Wani’s killing and joined Congress in February 2017.