Jammu And Kashmir’s Return To Statehood Top Priority, Says GN Azad

Ghulam Nabi Azad addresses a rally in Jammu region on Sunday


In his first rally since quitting the Congress, Ghulam Nabi Azad on Sunday spelled out the agenda of his yet-to-be-named party — the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood, protection of land and job rights of its residents, and the return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits.

Addressing the rally at Sainik Colony on the outskirts of Jammu, the veteran leader said he would announce the name of his new party after consulting people and leaders of Jammu and Kashmir.

Azad, a former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, was accorded a warm welcome by his supporters who turned up in large numbers at the Jammu airport and later took him in a procession to the rally venue.

Several prominent leaders, including former deputy chief minister Tara Chand, several former ministers and legislators who resigned from the Congress in his support, former PDP legislator Syed Bashir and former MLA Shoaib Nabi Lone from the Apni Party shared the dias with Azad.

The new party will focus on the restoration Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood, protection of land and jobs for its residents and the return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits, he said.

Azad, 73, ended his five-decade-long association with the Congress on August 26, terming the party “comprehensively destroyed”. He also lashed out at Rahul Gandhi for “demolishing” the party’s entire consultative mechanism.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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