All India Congress Committee (AICC)

JAMMU — In a very strange statistic, the grand old party—Congress—which draws its connection with Kashmir, seems to be ignoring its leaders from Jammu and Kashmir as none from the Union Territory figures in the party’s top national team. Moreover, in the recent campaigns for Punjab by-polls and Assembly elections in Karnataka, no party leader was included in the Congress list of 80-star campaigners despite having a president, a battery of veterans and former ministers.

“It seems that the party high command is not having much faith in the local leadership of J&K,” a senior J&K Congress leader, pleading anonymity, said, adding, “It was evident during Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra (held in early January) when a team from Punjab was called in to manage a large portion of the Yatra, while celebrity leaders were invited to provide momentum to the BJY.”

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Moreover, as per the party sources, none of the Jammu and Kashmir natives figured in the party’s national team, which is the top decision-making body in the organization.

It was the first time in the last six-seven decades when J&K was unrepresented in the national team of Congress. Earlier, stalwarts like Karan Singh, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Saif-u-Din Soz, Durga Prasad Dhar, Inder Jit Malhotra and others were part of the Congress national team and decision-making body, but after Ghulam Nabi Azad left the grand old party and parted his ways to constitute now political outfit, no one seems to represent J&K within the party.

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“There were posts of 10 general secretaries, 20 PCC in-charges for different states and UTs, around 66 in-charge secretaries and around dozen joint secretaries besides the President but interestingly none of them is native of Jammu and Kashmir or Ladakh,” another party leader said.

However, on many occasions, Congress leader and former President Rahul Gandhi said that he and his family belong to Kashmiri Pandit community.

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