Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi has dropped senior leader and former Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad from the panel of the newly constituted disciplinary committee of the party.
The new panel announced on November 19 has also dropped former Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and former Arunachal Chief Minister Mukut Mithi from the disciplinary committee. The committee was revamped following the death of Motilal Vohra who was the member secretary of the committee. While Tariq Anwar has replaced Bora, Ambika Soni, JP Agarwal and G Parameshwara have been accommodated as members. Former union minister AK Antony will head the committee.
The Congress has not attributed any reason behind suddenly discarding Ghulam Nabi Azad who has been a member of the disciplinary committee for a long time. But it is evidently clear that Sonia Gandhi is in no mood to accommodate any leader in any important bodies of the party one who keeps an independent opinion and advocates organizational reforms of the party.
The Congress Working Committee member, Ghulam Nabi Azad, is part of the ‘G-23 group of the Congress that had asked Sonia for sweeping changes in the party structure.
Azad was dropped a day after around 20 Congress leaders from Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) considered close to him resigned from their party positions. They include former ministers GM Saroori, Vikar Rasool and Dr Manohar Lal Sharma; former MLAs Jugal Kishore Sharma, Ghulam Nabi Monga, Naresh Gupta, Mohammad Amin Bhat, Subash Gupta; State Congress vice-president Anwar Bhat, and member of Kulgam District Development Council Anyatullah Rather.
They sent their resignation to Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and in-charge Secretary (J&K) Rajni Patil. They said that they were forced to resign following the ‘hostile attitude’ of the party leadership and accused J&K Congress chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir of leading the party to a disastrous condition.
Leaders said for the last one and half years they were unsuccessfully trying to draw the attention of the central leadership of the party towards issues of the state unit high. During the Srinagar and Jammu visit of Rahul Gandhi in August this year, they were not given time to meet him to raise their concerns. They want central leadership to give Azad the leadership of J&K.
However, Azad denied having any knowledge of resignations of J&K Congress leaders close to him.