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Ghulam Nabi Azad shares his party's agenda, says 'will give Hindustani name to it'

During his speech, Ghulam Nabi Azad said, "The people of Jammu and Kashmir will decide the party's name and flag. I'll give my party a Hindustani name that everyone will recognise." Adding that he will always support the people of Jammu and Kashmir. 

Ghulam Nabi Azad shares his party's agenda, says 'will give Hindustani name to it' - adt
First Published Sep 4, 2022, 3:02 PM IST

Former Union minister and senior ex-Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad held a public meeting in Jammu on Sunday at Sainik Colony. Amid speculation, Azad announced he had not yet decided on the name of his party.

"The party's name and flag will be decided by the people of Jammu & Kashmir. I will give my party a Hindustani name that everyone can understand," Azad said at the rally. 

Azad arrived at the venue after a rousing welcome from his supporters at Jammu airport. Azad was the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir between 2005 to 2008; he wore a Dogra turban to appeal to the people of Jammu.

During his speech, Azad said, "I will always stand by the people of Jammu and Kashmir. I am not the chief minister or any other minister at the moment. I am only a human being. Many people have resigned from Congress and supported me last week."

He also stated that his party would prioritise the restoration of full statehood, the right to land, and employment for natives. Azad also attacked Congress at the rally, saying that we made the "party by our blood, not by computers, not by Twitter."

"People attempt to discredit us, but their reach is limited to computers and tweets. That is why Congress is nowhere to be found on the ground," according to Ghulam Nabi Azad.

According to Azad, the "dream of Jammu and Kashmir's prosperity, which had taken off," had reached halfway, "but some people did not like that happiness." In a subtle jab at the PDP, he stated that some people did not like the positive changes because they believed it would cost them votes.

In response to the much-anticipated announcement of his new organisation, Azad confirmed reports and stated that the new party "formed will be a national-level one."

"However, we are not in a hurry for national aspirations because it (the party) will begin in Jammu and Kashmir." Elections in Jammu and Kashmir can take place at any time," he said. 

"We have seen the state of Congress in the country over the last eight years; it lost 39 of the 49 assembly elections." Only two of those 49 states now have Congress. We planned to build our house before the others even left. Whereas everyone will keep bricks, no one will keep sand. Because there are currently only 'sand-keepers' at the national level, but sand does not build houses," he explained.

Azad also expressed gratitude to the five ministers who joined him. "Three of them joined a regional party, which I will not name, but when I considered starting my own party, they were furious," Azad continued.

Former ministers Taj Mohiuddin, Abdul Majid Wani, Manohar Lal Sharma, GM Saroori, RS Chin, Jugal Kishore, Peerzada Mohd Sayeed, and former MLA Balwan Singh, who were present, pitched Azad for the position of Jammu and Kashmir chief minister.

Former Reasi minister Jugal Kishore said Azad is needed by the people of Jammu and Kashmir and called him 'indispensable.'

"Now, leaders from the PDP, BJP, and National Conference are here sharing the dais... and more will come," Jugal Kishore said, recalling Azad's golden period as chief minister in the PDP-Congress coalition government.

"Azad is a tall leader, who the Congress high leadership did not hear. Through thick and thin, you stood behind Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, and Indira Gandhi," he added. 

This was his first meeting since Azad ended his nearly 50-year relationship with Congress. In light of the upcoming assembly elections, Azad said he would launch a new party soon, with the first unit being formed in Jammu and Kashmir.

With Azad signalling his intention to form a new party, several leaders in Jammu and Kashmir have resigned from the Congress.

Tara Chand, the former deputy chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, is one of 64 Congress leaders who have resigned. In solidarity with Azad, over 36 Congress leaders from various universities in Jammu have resigned, including leaders of the National Students' Union of India, the Congress party's youth wing.

Azad had targeted party leadership, particularly Rahul Gandhi, in his resignation letter to Sonia Gandhi, for how the party has been run over the last nearly nine years.

Also Read: Former Jammu and Kashmir deputy CM among 50 Congress leaders quit party to back Ghulam Nabi Azad

Also Read: Tasked to 'slander' party, claims Congress on Ghulam Nabi Azad's criticism

Also Read: Why Ghulam Nabi Azad quit Congress; 6 key points in his resignation letter

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