The National Conference suffered a setback in Jammu as two of its prominent leaders, Devender Rana and Surjit Singh Slathia, resigned from the party on Sunday.
The NC said in a tweet that their resignations were accepted by National Conference president and former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah. “Dr Farooq Abdullah has received & accepted the resignations of Mr Slathia & Mr Rana. No further action or comment is deemed necessary,” a National Conference spokesman tweeted.
Rana was the party’s provincial president of the Jammu region and he was considered close to Abdullahs.
“I along with (senior party colleague and former minister) S S Slathia resigned from the basic membership of the National Conference. Now the voice of J-K will come from Jammu which should get its rightful place,” Rana told reporters, PTI reported.
Rana had proposed the ‘Jammu declaration’ on January 30, a charter to forge unity and reinforce trust between diverse communities and divergent regions of Jammu and Kashmir.
Rana said his only concern is the interests of Jammu and the wishes and aspirations of the people of the region. “The ‘Jammu declaration’ is an attempt in this direction where people from all walks of life including political parties need to come together, he added.
After announcing his resignation, Rana left for Delhi on Sunday. Though he did not divulge details of his future plans, sources said that he is likely to join the BJP.
Rana is also the younger brother of Union Minister Jitendra Singh.
Meanwhile, the NC nominated senior leader Rattan Lal Gupta as provincial president of Jammu till elections for the post are held on October 16.
“Party general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar has issued a notification regarding elections for the post of provincial presidents for Jammu and Valley to be held on 16th October,” a spokesperson quoted PTI as saying.
He said senior party leaders Choudhary Mohammad Ramzaan and Ali Mohammad Dar were nominated as election officers for Kashmir province and Sheikh Mustafa Kamaal and Anil Dhar for Jammu province.
(With PTI inputs)