Ghulam Nabi Azad, chairperson of the newly launched Democratic Azad Party (DAP), has demanded the restoration of statehood to his home region of Jammu and Kashmir.
Addressing a rally in Kathua on Sunday, ahead of the anticipated assembly election in the union territory, the former chief minister urged party workers to mobilise public support for the DAP while announcing its three agendas.
Urging the Centre to restore the statehood to Jammu and Kashmir, Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the BJP government must not procrastinate regarding the matter.
“We need it back before the holding of assembly elections so that our own people can run the administration,” said Azad at a public rally.
Apart from the restoration of statehood, the senior politician said that the protection of land and jobs for natives, and the return and rehabilitation of migrant Kashmiri Pandits are the main agendas of his party manifesto for the state assembly polls.
During the address, Azad claimed that Jammu and Kashmir’s situation has been deteriorating, especially on the economic front. According to the ex-Congress leader, the state’s economy is on the brink of collapse as there are no functioning sectors, “be it tourism, horticulture, transport, or trade.”
Earlier, Azad had ensured that Article 370, which was abrogated by the Modi government in August 2019, won’t be restored in Jammu and Kashmir.
To restore Article 370 in the region, political parties need huge support in both the Houses of the Parliament, which is not expected to be possible as no party will come out in overwhelming support of the special provision. The party willing to bring the motion must also enjoy majority support in the Houses for it to pasa.
Azad, who enjoyed power within the Congress and in government for more than four decades, quit the grand old party in August. He verbally attacked Rahul Gandhi and blasted him for his “childish behaviour” and “immaturity”. In a letter to Sonia Gandhi, Azad blamed Rahul Gandhi for losing ground since he joined active politics in 2013.
Earlier this year, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had ensured that Jammu and Kashmir will have its statehood restored once the on-ground situation in the region reaches normalcy.