All India Mahila Congress (AIMC) president Prabha Thakur on Tuesday downplayed the differences and division within the party in Kashmir saying, “Saif-ud-Din Soz and Ghulam Nabi Azad are wheels of the Congress in the state."
“Both Soz sahib and Azad sahib are from Kashmir only and have been working for the welfare of the party here. They are wheels of the Congress in the state. I don’t feel any division,” said Thakur, who addressed a rally of women Congress workers of Kashmir Mahila Congress at its Lal Chowk headquarters.
The Congress in the state is divided between Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Saifuddin Soz and former Chief Minister and now Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.
“There are people who want to adopt the divide and rule policy to weaken the Congress in the state. But we stand united and will foil their designs,” said Prabhat, also a Member Parliament from Andhra Pradesh.
Prabhat said she was directed by Sonia Gandhi to review the functioning of women workers in Kashmir. The party has enrolled more than 2 lakh members since December 2009, of which 20-25 per cent account for women workers.
“The Congress party and Sonia Gandhi in particular want to work for welfare of women in Kashmir. In that direction, Gandhi in principle has agreed to 4 per cent job reservation for women in the state,” said Thakur.
She also appealed to the state governments for giving 33 per cent reservation to women in the state.
Thakur said Kashmir lies in blood of the Gandhis. “Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru was from the state and later Indira Gandhi was attached too. Sonia Gandhi ji too sees the Valley as her matrabhumi (motherland),” said Thakur, adding the Centre has been generous to the state and Rs 6000 crore was sanctioned to it as special case.
The rally was also attended by Soz, MLA Dooru G A Mir, Kashmir Mahila Congress president Indu Pawar and senior leader Ghulam Rasool Kar.
“The UPA government’s achievements such as Information Act, NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) schemes etc that brought relief to the people should reach to the common man. The workers would have to spread the word about these schemes among the masses,” said Soz.
He admitted there was division within the party. “There are some disgruntled people. They should come and meet,” said Soz.