Soz Faces Revolt Within Cong, PCC Leaders Seek Resignation

12 January 2015
The Daily Excelsior
Gopal Sharma

Jammu: After the party debacle in recently held Lok Sabha polls and now the Assembly elections in the J&K State, Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Prof Saifuddin Soz is virtually facing revolt within the party as many Congress leaders have started demanding his resignation on the moral grounds. Much anger has been generated among the party cadre on the constitution of provincial level committees by the PCC president at this critical juncture in hush-hush manner, when the party which has faced debacle again after Lok Sabh elections, is yet to recover from the shock. The cadre feels that instead of going for the self-introspection and discuss the reasons of party failure with the provincial, district and block level committee members, Prof Soz has gone ahead with the membership drive just to divert the attention of the party members in the State and top functionaries of the party in New Delhi. In a crucial move, aiming at infusing new lease of life in the party cadre and reviving it in the State, many PCC leaders after meeting held today flashed a communication to the All India Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi seeking, resignation of PCC president on moral grounds after party's failure in recently held elections. They pointed out that after party debacle in Lok Sabha elections, if AICC president can come out with courage to own responsibility of party debacle, why the PCC chief is hesitant to do so despite the fact that party failed to secure even a single seat in Lok Sabha elections in J&K and now after worst failure in Assembly elections. They said Prof Soz has no moral right to stay as party president. These prominent leaders in a meeting held under the chairmanship of AICC member and former MP Janak Raj Gupta (PCC vice president) have demanded that Prof Soz should resign from the present post on moral grounds after party's debacle in recent Assembly elections in the State. While expressing their confidence in the leadership of All India Congress Committee (AICC) president, Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi, these prominent Congress leaders have also expressed their resentment over the creation of two committees for starting membership drive in the State especially when party workers at grass root level were not yet prepared to come to terms with election results in which Congress faced debacle and many are still recovering from the shock. Expressing strong resentment over the constitution of these committees, the Congress leaders said that the party chief Saifuddin Soz should have morally owned the responsibility of this debacle in Assembly polls and resigned to pave way for new PCC chief so that party is revived and strengthened in the State. They said, if the need arises the party leadership at Centre must fix responsibility and then ask the PCC chief to step down from the post so that party is rejuvenated right from the beginning. They pointed out that this committee has been constituted by PCC president at such a critical time when Congress should have held introspection about its failure in winning required number of seats in the Assembly elections. Moreover, the committee comprises of the maximum number of candidates who have faced humiliating defeat in elections. This committee has been constituted just to divert the attention of party functionaries at State and the Central levels, they maintained. While demanding dissolution of these committees, which they believe unconstitutional, these Congress leaders urged the Central leadership of the party to send a team of Central observers to ascertain the cause of debacle in recently concluded Assembly elections. They also demanded that there was a need of talking to party leadership at all levels and restoring their confidence so that party is strengthened before starting any membership drive. 'There is also need of holding deliberations over wrong choice of candidates, their electioneering trends and their utter failure to secure even the minimum required number of votes. These all issues need to be deliberated upon besides restoring the faith of party workers in party before starting any such drive,' they stressed. They urged the AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi to personally intervene and ask all such leaders in the State to desist from constituting committees of their own to divert attention of the party. The signatories to the statement after meeting included - Janak Raj Gupta ( Ex-MP), former Minister and PCC vice president Abdul Ghani Vakil (AICC member), former Minister and PCC vice president, Prem Sagar Aziz, former Minister Dr Manohar Lal Sharma, former Minister Yogesh Sawhney, former Minister Dr Romesh Sharma, former Deputy Chairman of Legislative Council and PCC general secretary Arvinder Singh Micky, Balwan Singh PCC gen secy, Vinod Mishra PCC gen secy, Darshan Raina ( gen secy), Ashok Sharma (Ex-MLA- PCC secy), H L Abrol secy PCC, Pawan Raina secy PCC, Naresh Gupta (Ex MLC and DCC president Doda), Naresh Sharma Secy PCC, Subash Gupta (Ex-MLC and DCC president Kathua, Jahangir Mir MLC, Ch Zaffarullah Distt president from Mendhar, Ali Mohd Bhat (Ex-MLC), Manzoor Ahmed Ganai from Bijbehara, Ch Masood from Darhal and Haji Nissar Ali from Kargil.