To Keep Azad At Bay, Congress Extends Olive Branch To Tariq Karra

by Yawar Hussain

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir Congress is witnessing a new bonhomie between President Ghulam Ahmad Mir and Congress Working Committee member Tariq Hameed Karra in contrast to the undeclared rivalry between the duo since the latter joined the party in 2017 after quitting the Peoples Democratic Party in protest against the handling of 2016 Kashmir unrest.

JK Pradesh Congress President Ghulam Ahmad Mir meeting Congress Working Committee member Tariq Hameed Karra in Srinagar on Thursday, March 18, 2021

Mir and Karra, who never held a one-to-one meeting, met for nearly two hours on Thursday evening at the latter’s residence.

Sources within the party said the move came in after the high command directed Mir to rope in Karra to counter the rise of Ghulam Nabi Azad who started a conspicuously tacit attack on the party leadership in Jammu last month.

Karra has been conspicuously absent from the political scene in Jammu and Kashmir since August 5 while he hasn’t been part of J&K Congress’s any activity since his joining.

“Many political developments and organizational matters in J&K and across the country came up for discussion, Both the leaders (Tariq Hameed Karra and G.A. Mir) reiterated their solidarity towards the Congress Leadership,” the party handout released reads.

“The Leaders held threadbare discussions over strengthening the Party further at the grass-root level,” the press note read further.

Congress party has been witnessing rebellion ever since Ghulam Nabi Azad flew to Jammu to a welcome by his friends and well-wishers. A day, later, however, the same streets saw the Congressmen burning his effigies.

Hitting out at his party leadership, Azad had said those who hide their past “live in an illusionary world”, without naming any leader.

“A man should be proud of who he is. I have travelled to many countries and stayed in five-star hotels across the world. But when I visit my village, the smell there is always pleasant. It smells different,” Azad said.

Azad’s remarks came in presence of the new Congress grouping known as G-23 whose leaders were accompanying him and are pitching him to lead the party.

Many in Congress saw the G-23 meeting as an open rebellion against the top leadership of Congress.

Following this, the J&K Congress President Ghulam Ahmad Mir was summoned to New Delhi where he met Rahul Gandhi and J&K in-charge Rajni Patil.

The meeting now between Mir and Karra is said to be an outcome of the directions passed by interim party President Sonia Gandhi.

Also, the J&K in-charge Rajni  Patil is scheduled to visit Kashmir valley on Saturday to attend meetings in Srinagar, Kupwara and Baramulla where Karra is expected to accompany her.

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