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​Alternative to Abdullah, 'Decimation' of Congress & An ED Case: Why Azad's Exit is 'Bad Day' for NC-PDP, Good News for BJP

By: Pragya Kaushika

News18.com

Last Updated: August 27, 2022, 13:56 IST

New Delhi, India

Ghulam Nabi Azad resigned from the Congress on Friday, blaming Rahul Gandhi and his close coterie for the electoral decline of the party. (PTI File)

Ghulam Nabi Azad resigned from the Congress on Friday, blaming Rahul Gandhi and his close coterie for the electoral decline of the party. (PTI File)

The core group of the BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir unit met on Friday evening at the residence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah to draw up a strategy on the areas where the party can strengthen itself. The meeting went on for four hours

It is the worst day for National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party in Jammu and Kashmir, BJP leaders said on Friday as senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad resigned from the Grand Old Party, blaming Rahul Gandhi and his close coterie for the electoral decline of the party.

As Congress leaders copy-pasted the video where PM Narendra Modi’s eyes welled up during Azad’s farewell speech, calling the latter’s resignation a repayment of the loan of that gesture, BJP leaders called it ‘bohot bura din hai for NC and PDP’ (bad day for NC and PDP).

“Congress is nearly extinct, it is the worst day for NC and PDP in the state,” said a top BJP leader associated with Jammu and Kashmir.

The day Azad resigned, BJP was busy strengthening its organisation and chalking out a strategy to fill the vacuum created due to Azad’s exit from the Congress.

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The core group of the party’s Jammu and Kashmir unit met on Friday evening at the residence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah to draw up a strategy on the areas where the party can strengthen itself. The meeting went on for four hours.

Bad news for NC and PDP?

A senior BJP leader said the Congress had been eating into its vote bank in the Jammu region. “With Congress weakening, BJP will be benefitted wherever it finds space. The contest will be between Azad’s new party and NCP and PDP and all will be targeting their specific vote base. We would have a chance to woo the Congress voters, who will never vote for PDP or other regional party. Azad may emerge as an alternative to Farooq Abdullah’s party as both enjoy an image of soft nationalist. Plus, Abdullah is facing ED case and there is a rumour in the UT that he has some setting with us in Delhi and may face losses. There is another factor in J&K as we have observed with Abdullahs, the party considered closer to Centre or the PM gets the advantage in certain areas,” stated a senior BJP leader.

Another benefit that BJP sees is that the election will not be one-sided. “There will be many players in the elections and this would ensure that polls won’t favour one party completely,” added another leader.

Azad’s exit from Congress and revelation that he will launch his own political outfit has given hope to the BJP.

Another senior leader from the state explained why Azad’s exit is good news for the saffron party. “Azad is the son-in-law of Poonch Rajouri sector and hails from Doda district and Bhaderwah. He has his own vote bank in the Union Territory. With him exiting Congress along with top leaders of the party in the region, the grand old party is almost decimated.”

In the 2014 elections, when J&K was a state, Congress won 12 seats whereas BJP won 25.

On Friday, Azad sent a strongly worded five-page letter to Congress’ interim president Sonia Gandhi announcing his resignation from all posts.

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first published:August 27, 2022, 09:22 IST
last updated:August 27, 2022, 13:56 IST