Will not mislead people on Article 370 restoration: Ghulam Nabi Azad

Ghulam Nabi Azad. Photo: PTI/Manvender Vashist Lav

Baramulla (J-K): As he prepares to launch his party, former Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Sunday said he will not mislead the people over the issue of Article 370 as only a government with a two-t"Azad knows what can and cannot be done. I or the Congress party or three regional parties cannot give you back Article 370, neither can (TMC chief) Mamata Banerjee, or DMK or (NCP chief) Sharad Pawar," Azad said in his maiden rally in Kashmir Valley after quitting the Congress last month.

The former Union minister said he will not raise issues over which he has no control.

"Some people have been saying that I don't talk about Article 370. I want to tell them that Azad does not befool people for electoral gains," the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said at the public meeting at Dak Bungalow Baramulla in north Kashmir.

"I swear before God that I will not mislead you. I will not raise such slogans or issues over which I have no control," he said.

Azad said only a party with a two-thirds majority in Parliament can restore the special status of the erstwhile state which was revoked by the Centre in August 2019.

"Congress party hasn't been able to achieve more than 85 Lok Sabha seats in the last ten years. Its strength is decreasing in the Rajya Sabha with every state loss...

"I don't think the Congress can get over 350 seats in the Lok Sabha elections," he said.

"Where from can I get it? Why mislead people," he added.

The former J-K chief minister said he would not promise the moon and stars to the people but only those things that can be achieved.

"I or the Congress party or three regional parties cannot give you back Article 370...," he added.

Azad, who ended his five-decade-long association with the Congress last month, said he will announce the formation of his new political party within 10 days and asserted that its ideology will be "independent".

The former Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha said his party will focus on restoration of statehood to J-K, giving exclusive rights over jobs and land to its people and bringing development.

Referring to Apni Party president Altaf Bukhari's allegation that Azad had voted in favour of the abrogation of Article 370, he said Bukhari should first understand how Parliament works.

"I voted against the Bill brought by the Home Ministry for the revocation of Article 370," Azad said. 

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