Azad dispels ‘rumours’ about being next LG of J&K
DPAP emerges as major, effective alternative political party in 1 year
STATE TIMES NEWS
Srinagar: Former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Sunday said he was not interested in becoming the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, dispelling “rumours” in this regard.
The former Congress leader said he was not looking for employment but wanted to serve the people of J&K.
“I will request people not to trust the rumour mills which are working in overdrive. There is a fresh rumour here that Ghulam Nabi Azad is going to be the next LG.
“I have not come (to JK) looking for a job, I want to serve the people,” Azad said addressing a rally to mark the foundation day of his Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) which he formed last year after parting ways with the Congress.
Azad said some people were trying to give the impression that he was looking for rehabilitation. “When I came here in 2005 (as chief minister), I left two prized (Union) ministries Housing and Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs to serve the people. It was not as if I was without work,” he said referring to criticism by some quarters that he returned to JK politics at the behest of the BJP.
Azad said unemployment and inflation were two main problems facing Jammu and Kashmir which he wants to address by exploiting the tourism potential of the region.
“Inflation is on the rise. It is true that inflation is not specific to India. Europe has the highest inflation but they have other means to tackle it. We are a poor state.
“Unemployment is on the rise. There are no jobs. Government is advertising posts but interviews are not held. Educated youth have no jobs and their parents have exhausted their savings on their education,” he said.
The former chief minister said tourism has the potential to provide a livelihood for all sections of the society.
“One Tulip Garden (which was made in 2007) has provided livelihood to thousands of people. As CM, I had a plan to develop 10 to 12 tourist locations in each district of Jammu and Kashmir.
“I had plans of providing loans to people for setting up homestay facilities which could provide earning opportunities to them,” he added.
Referring to the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A by the Centre in 2019, Azad said it was a “great mistake”.
“There were some political mistakes over many years which have pushed the state backwards, instead of going forward. In the last nine years, another great mistake was made – Article 370 and Article 35A were removed.
“Article 35A, subsequently Article 35B, was not promulgated after Independence. It was brought by the Maharaja (Hari Singh) in 1925. I said this in Parliament that had the BJP known that they would not have touched Article 370 and Article 35A. This mistake pushed us further back. There was an uncertainty whether the land will stay with us or not,” he added.
Azad asked party leaders not to make personal attacks against opponents.
“I have said earlier also that we were subjected to a political fraud but why should I comment on someone’s appearance?” he said.
He demanded the death penalty for those involved in running drug mafia in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Drug abuse has become a major problem. Many people have become millionaires by dealing in drugs. They should be hanged to death,” he said.
Reiterating his commitment to serve the people, Azad said that his return to regional politics is aimed at building Jammu and Kashmir as an epicentre of peace and prosperity.
Azad said he rejected many offers like the seat of Rajya Sabha and other portfolios only because he shares the concerns of common people in the Union Territory and vowed that all the socio-economic issues will be addressed if he is elected to power.
“While I can see the resounding gathering today at the very first Foundation Day of our party, it shows to all our opponents where the people stand politically,” Azad said.
He said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir remember his tenure as Chief Minister as golden era of development and if in the upcoming elections he got the mandate again the speed of developmental activities will be further accelerated.
“This time not three shifts but in four shifts developmental works will be taking place. That will enhance job opportunities for both skilled and non skilled labourers. Those who are migrating from the UT in search of jobs will get opportunities to earn their livelihood at home,” Azad said.
The DPAP Chairman said that he won’t mislead the people like many other political parties.
“We will not mislead people on fake assurances and promise them sky and deliver nothing. We want to tell them truth and ensure whatever we speak is delivered on ground,” he said.
Azad said that due to fake promises and emotional politics, the developmental issues have taken the back seat.
“It is imperative to engage with the people and begin a healthy politics instead of playing over emotions and securing power for personal gains. I believe it is my duty and responsibility to guide my people towards the path of peace, prosperity and development to ensure all coming generations have secure and safe future,” he said.
The DPAP chairman assured the people of J&K that he will defend their political and economic rights and will lead from the front whenever needed. DPAP is not just a political party fighting to gain power but an ideology, belief and a mission to restore and secure the socioeconomic rights for the people of Jammu and Kashmir, he added.
The former Chief Minister of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state said that the belief and the trust of people in just one year has taken the party to new heights and it is in itself a record that in just 12 months DPAP is a household name.
“I ask my workers not to rest here but ensure we are one of the most effective and pro people political alternative in Jammu and Kashmir. Work hard and ensure more and more people are joining this caravaan,” he appealed.
On the occasion Working President Congress from Bandipora Basharat Bohroo and Ghulam Rasool Ex Chairman MC Sopore joined DPAP.
Among others present on the occasion were, Taj Mohiuddin Treasurer, G.M.Saroori Vice Chairman, Ch Haroon Khatana Gen Secretary, Mohd Amin Bhatt Provincial President, Mohd Yousef Gorsi Chairman DDC, Chief Spokesperson Salman Nizami, Gulzar Wani Zonal President, Shoaib Nabi Lone Distt president Baramulla, Spokesperson Adv Saleem Parray Shafiq Shabnam Provincial Gen Secretary, Bilal Peer Zonal President, Sujada Bashir Spokesperson, Distt President Amir Bhatt, Khalid Tufail, Haji Musadiq, Arif Maqbool, Er Nazir Ah Yatoo, Muneer Ah Mir, Gn Nabi Palpuri, Ayoub Thakur, Altaf Dar, Waseem Yaqoob, Asghar Khan, Khurshid Bhatt, Gh Nabi Parwana, Firdous Nabi, Aqib Khanday, Mushtaq Khanday, Zameer Ahmed, Amir Rasool, Shubi Jaan, Bilal Khan, Ghulam Mohidudin Bhatt, Javed Iqbal, Sajjad Ahmed and others.