Over 60 Congress leaders, including former Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand, resigned from the party on Tuesday in support of veteran politician Ghulam Nabi Azad, NDTV reported.

Azad, a former Union minister, ended his nearly 50-year-old association with the Congress on August 26 with a scathing critique of MP Rahul Gandhi. A day later, he said that he would start a new party soon and set up its first unit in Jammu and Kashmir.

On Tuesday, 64 leaders and senior functionaries across Jammu province submitted a joint resignation letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

“All of us had a very long association with the party spanning over decades and devoted all our energy and resources towards expanding the party in Jammu and Kashmir, but unfortunately we found that the treatment meted out to us was humiliating,” former MLA Balwan Singh said at a press conference as he read out the resignation letter.

Former ministers Abdul Majid Wani, Manohar Lal Sharma and Gharu Ram were among those who resigned, according to PTI.

Mass exit

On Monday, four Congress leaders, including former deputy Speaker of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Gulam Hyder Malik, had quit. Twelve workers of the Apni Party from Doda had also resigned and extended their support to Azad.

Before this, five former MLAs from Jammu and Kashmir GM Saroori, Haji Abdul Rashid, Mohammad Amin Bhat, Gulzar Ahmad Wani and Choudhary Mohammad Akram had ended their association with the Congress.

In his resignation letter, Azad had accused Rahul Gandhi of being immature and described the election process of the Congress as a farce and an attempt to foist a “non-serious individual” to be at the helm.

The 73-year-old had also alleged that Sonia Gandhi was merely “a figurehead” and all decisions were taken by Rahul Gandhi or his personal assistant and security guards.