Ghulam Nabi Azad
on Friday said he and his colleagues would campaign for the party in the five election-bound states, signalling a temporary halt to the public gatherings kickstarted by the dissidents in
Speaking to reporters,
said, “I and my colleagues will campaign for the party in the states as per the demand of the organisation as well as individual candidates.” He added that campaigning for a Congress victory would be the priority for the next two months.
Azad, who has been in the Congress’s ‘star campaigner’ list for four decades, said demand from candidates for specific leaders was higher than the public rallies sought by the party since candidates assess local needs of their constituencies. It is now to be seen if the G-23 leaders, especially Azad, figure in the star campaigners’ lists for the five states.
The announcement implies that the dissidents will not follow up for now on the public gathering in Jammu where
and Anand Sharma expressed concern that Congress was weakening by the day. They, along with
, had also demanded that Azad be used by the party in the challenging times while regretting that he was allowed to retire from Parliament.
What further raised hackles in party circles was Azad’s reported praise of PM Modi at another public rally in Jammu. However, sources close to Azad said he did not praise Modi but only mentioned him in a context in which he had actually praised himself for not being shy of his poor, rural roots.