NEW DELHI: The fate of senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, and Pradesh Congress Chief Saif-Ud-Din Soz hangs in the balance with the Jammu and Kashmir unit of the Congress party demanding the old guard be replaced with new energetic leaders.

Sources in the State Congress Party told The Citizen that the Rajya Sabha seats should be given to fresh faces to increase the strength of the party in the state.

"The recent poll debacle in Jammu and Kashmir should be an eye opener. Rather than nominating the same old members to the Rajya Sabha the party must think beyond them and introduce new faces" said a senior party leader and former minister not wanting to be named.

The leader added that both Soz and Azad remain at a distance from the politics of the state, and despite managing Congress affairs they have never remained in touch with the workers on the ground.

"Both Azad and Soz have concentrated more on Delhi than Jammu and Kashmir, so by nominating them again for the RS the party is plunging itself into political crisis" he added.

Both Azad and Soz were elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2009 with support from the then coalition partner National Conference. However, this time both these parties have fewer numbers, which will make it difficult for them to return members to the Upper House.

The RS term of Azad and Soz will end on February 10.

Meanwhile, voices of dissent are also growing against Soz to resign as state PCC chief and pave way for the infusion of young blood, who will have the capability to increase the party’s membership in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Citizen learnt that many state party leaders have written to AICC chief Sonia Gandhi to replace Soz with a new young leader who will strengthen the party at grassroot level.

Sources added that former Tourism minister Ghulam Ahmad Mir is the front-runner for the PCC post.

The two senior leaders Azad and Soz are in trouble with the party in the state, and this time if they are not elected to the Rajya Sabha it could spell the end of their political careers.