Azad appointed Cong Chief Campaigner for JK elections

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New Delhi, Oct 8 (UNI) Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is being appointed Chief Campaigner of the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) for the coming Assembly elections in the state, sources said here today.

The high-powered Committee will decide selection of candidates, mandates as well as strategy and possible alliances for the elections.

Mr Azad has been in political wilderness since his resignation from the Chief Ministership after the PDP withdrew support following the Amarnath agitation.

The handling of the Amarnath agitation by the former Chief Minister had reportedly caused displeasure within the Congress high-command which has so far refrained from assigning him any major role.

The Pradesh Committee Chief, Saifuddin Soz, had formed two Committees, one each for Jammu and Kashmir valley, to oversee the election arrangements. The Jammu Committee was headed by former Deputy Chief Minister Mangatram Sharma and the Kashmir Committee by state Minister Taj Mohiuddin.

The two Committees have now been merged and Mr Sharma and Mr Taj Mohiuddin will assist Mr Azad as Vice Chairmen.

The PCC chief, when contacted, said Mr Azad had a role to play in Jammu and Kashmir and would like him to play an important role in the state in the coming elections.

Asked what would be his own (Prof Soz's) role after delegating powers to Mr Azad, Prof Soz said the President is above all Committees.

He said he would be working in close coordination with Mr Azad.

Prof Soz disclosed that he would be forming more such Committees including the Manifesto Committee which would start functioning from next week.

Mr Azad has in the past been touted as the 'victory mascot' of the Congress Party and has been responsible for electoral victories for his Party in various states.

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