Jammu and Kashmir news: Former Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Sunday said that he will not promise to restore the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the constitution as he does not believe in making false promises. He made the statement at a public meeting at Dak Bunglow in Baramulla in north Kashmir.
In his first speech after leaving the Congress party, he said that "To restore Article 370 around 350 votes would be needed in the Lok Sabha while 175 votes in the Rajya Sabha and no political party has ever or is likely gotten this number."
He further said that his political agenda includes restoration of statehood, land and jobs for the locals as these are achievable objectives. "I have voted against the abrogation and these people who have no idea about the working of Parliament are saying that I voted against Article 370," he said.
He said when he was the chief minister of the state, he arrested 13 police personnel for staging a fake encounter in which three persons were killed. "The arrested persons are in jail for the last 15 years," he said. He spoke of the developmental works and creation of districts during his tenure as the chief minister.
"Four new districts were created in the Valley and three in the Jammu division during my tenure as the chief minister. I got new medical colleges during that period.
Azad to announce new political party in 10 days
Speaking about his plans for his political party that he will launch within the next 10 days, he said, "My party will be Azad. Many of my colleagues said we should name the party as Azad. But, I said never. But, it's ideology will be independent, which will not join or merge with any other. That may happen after my death, but not till then." READ MORE
Azad said he was not against any political party, whether national or regional. "Many people across party lines are my friends," he said.
"My party will be development-oriented. It's agenda will be to give employment opportunities to the people," he added. Azad said he was not against any political party, whether national or regional.
Azad, 73, ended his five-decade-long association with the Congress on August 26, terming the party "comprehensively destroyed". He had lashed out at former Congress president Rahul Gandhi for "demolishing" the party's entire consultative mechanism.
(With inputs from Agencies)