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Ghulam Nabi Azad launches Democratic Azad Party in J&K

Ghulam Nabi Azad launches Democratic Azad Party in J&K

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JAMMU: Ghulam Nabi Azad, who recently parted ways with the Congress, on Monday launched his new party — the Democratic Azad party (DAP), reports PTI.

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister had ended his more than five-decade-long association with the Congress on August 26, said he will not make the restoration of Article 370 an election issue in Jammu and Kashmir.

During a press conference here, Azad said, “I am launching Democratic Azad Party (DAP) from here today. It symbolises democracy and freedom of speech and thought. Our ideology will be based on the ideals of Mahatama Gandhi.”

Azad said the DAP will have no competition with any other political party and it will focus on strengthening peace and normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir.

Over two dozen prominent Congress leaders, including former deputy chief minister Tara Chand, had resigned from the Congress in support of Azad.

Issues of roads, water supply and price rise are meant for elections. “I don’t stop anybody from making any thing an election issue. I have a lot of things, why should I make it an election issue,” he asked.

He said the DAP will have “no competition” with any other political party and it will focus on “strengthening” peace and normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir.

Azad added that he has never said restoration of Article 370 was not possible. “I never said this cannot happen. I said that I cannot convince Prime Minister Narendra Modi-ji. If anyone can persuade Modi-ji and Union Home Minister Amit Shah-ji, they should do it. It will be a welcome step. I do not have any such influence on Modi-ji,” Azad said.

He said only Parliament can restore Article 370 but “we need a majority”. “When voting took place in Parliament by Modi-ji and Amit Shah-ji, they got 86 per cent votes,” Azad added.

By abrogating Article 370, the central government had revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. The Supreme Court has agreed to list after Dussehra vacation the pleas challenging the decision.

Azad said it was a welcome step that the Supreme Court will be hearing the case from October 10.

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister had ended his more than five-decade-long association with the Congress on August 26. Over two dozen prominent Congress leaders, including former deputy chief minister Tara Chand, had resigned from the Congress in support of Azad. PTI AB IJT