Soz moots idea of Azad as Cong. Chief Campaigner in JK polls

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New Delhi, Oct 8 (UNI) Prof Saifuddin Soz, Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee President, today mooted the idea of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad as Chief Campaigner of the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) for the coming Assembly elections in the state, sources said here today.

The Committee would 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 Committee will function in consultation with the PCC Chief.

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.

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

UNI RB RSA RK1710

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