Marking the beginning of his new political innings in Kashmir, former Congress veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad on Sunday said that Article 370, revoked by the Union government three years ago, cannot be restored.
“Ghulam Nabi Azad will not mislead anyone for votes, I will not mislead and exploit you. Please don’t rake up issues which can’t be achieved. Art 370 can’t be restored. It needs two-thirds majority in parliament,” said Azad in his first public meeting in Kashmir after breaking away from his five-decade-long association with Congress.
Azad was addressing a rally here where he also said that they will launch a new party in ten days. “My party will focus on the restoration of full statehood, right to land, and employment to native domicile.”
Azad added, “I’ve not decided upon a name for my party yet. The people of J-K will decide the name and the flag for the party. I’ll give a Hindustani name to my party that everyone can understand.” he said
Azad said that the first unit of his political outfit would be formed in Jammu and Kashmir in view of impending assembly polls.
He once again lashed out at Congress and said that people are trying to defame us (me and my supporters who left the party) but their reach is limited to computer tweets.Criticising the party, Azad said, “Congress was made by us by our blood, not by computers, not by Twitter. People are trying to defame us but their reach is limited to computers and tweets. That is the reason Congress is nowhere to be seen on the ground.”
“I thank everyone who supported me through their resignations, WhatsApp messages and other mediums from across the country since I resigned from the party. I have served the Congress party holding every position for last 53 years, but never received this much of love even when I am not on any position,” Azad said.
Taking a jibe at Congress, Azad said that people from Congress now go to jail in buses, call DGP or Commissioners, get their names written, and leave within an hour. This is the reason Congress has been unable to grow.
Azad resigned from the all-party post last week. Notably, he has been Chief Minister of J-K from 2005 to 2008.
In his resignation letter to Sonia Gandhi, he had targeted party leadership, particularly Rahul Gandhi, over the way the party has been run in the past nearly nine years.In the hard-hitting five-page letter, Azad had claimed that a coterie runs the party while Sonia Gandhi was just “a nominal head” and all the major decisions were taken by “Rahul Gandhi or rather worse his security guards and PAs”.
Azad had said he was submitting his resignation with “great regret and an extremely leaden heart” and severing his 50-year association with the Congress. He was earlier Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha.
Recounting his long association with the Congress, Azad had said the situation in the party has reached a point of “no return.”
While Azad took potshots at Sonia Gandhi in the letter, his sharpest attack was on Rahul Gandhi and he described the Wayand MP as a “non-serious individual” and “immature”.