Demystifying Azads Transfer To J&K

Updated: Apr 1 2002, 05:30am hrs
Why exactly was Ghulam Nabi Azad suddenly shunted to Jammu & Kashmir as president of the Congress state unit, when thats a state where neither his party nor the gent himself have much of an electoral base According to rumours doing the rounds of the Congress party circuit for the past several weeks, Mr Azad played a key role in deliberately denying tickets to several strong candidates in the Uttar Pradesh elections.

The outcome Congress insiders believe that fielding such weak candidates resulted in a large number of the partys candidates suffering massive defeats with most not even managing 4,000-5,000 votes in their constituencies, leading to the ignominy of forfeited security deposits.

Naturally then, 10 Janpath couldnt have been pleased with Mr Azad. But what was his alleged motive for sabotaging Congress electoral outcome Fielding weak candidates would have directly helped Mulayam Singhs Samajwadi Party. And reportedly, at that time, Mr Azad had been eyeing a Rajya Sabha nomination from UP for which he was angling for Amar Singhs tacit support! By the way, Azad did subsequently get elected to the upper house.

NDA Versus NDA!
This is set to be a case of a local debacle played out nationally. With Sahib Singh Verma blaming the rout of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the recently held Municipal Corporation of Delhi elections on the union budget (and finance minister Yashwant Sinha), there is apprehension in government circles that the issue will be used by the opposition camp the Congress, Communists and the Samajwadi party to embarrass the government in the standing committee meeting on finance beginning from today.

The rationale being given for such a strategy is that when leaders from the ruling coalition are themselves denouncing the budget, why should the opposition ease the governments job In fact, a possible scenario which is being painted is that the opposition will rope in like-minded members from the NDA parties to corner the government. And if official sources are to be believed, this time round the governments crisis management abilities have been weakened by the unlikely constraint of a long weekend. So, will the National Democratic Alliance battle with the National Democratic Alliance today