Azad unable to perform 'political magic' in J&K
Srinagar (PTI): Ghulam Nabi Azad, known for his 'Midas touch' among political circles for securing victories for the Congress even under extreme conditions, was unable to perform his magic on his home turf in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday.
The 59-year-old quit as Chief Minister saying he will not indulge in horse-trading to secure the confidence vote.
After delivering victories in several key states, including Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, the 'crisis manager' of the Congress surprised many when he led the party successfully in the 2002 Assembly election in Jammu and Kashmir.
Azad's forte is his organisational skills, having been the AICC general secretary for a record nine times and member of the powerful Congress Working Committee for 18 years, perhaps the longest period among the current leaders.
As a Union minister, he steered successive Congress governments to victory in 21 no-confidence motions including the minority government of P V Narsimha Rao in early 1990's.
Azad's first political assignment was the Block Congress Committee secretary in Bahlesa in J-K's Doda district, his native place.
In 1980, he was appointed as the President of the All India Youth Congress, the first from the minority community.
After being elected to the Seventh Lok Sabha from Maharashtra's Washim constituency in 1980, Azad entered into the Central government as Deputy Minister in-charge of Law, Justice and Company Affairs Ministry in 1982.
Subsequently, he was elected to the Eight Lok Sabha in 1984 and became a Rajya Sabha member in 1990. During Rao government, Azad took charge of Parliamentary Affairs and Civil Aviation ministries.