Jammu: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and veteran politician Ghulam Nabi Azad, who severed his more than five decades association with Congress recently, on Sunday vowed to fight for the restoration of statehood to the Jammu and Kashmir and protecting the rights of the people at a jam-packed rally here.
Azad was addressing his maiden rally at Jammu after severing his ties with the grand old party.
Nearly 100 Congress leaders, including former JK ministers, MLCs, DDC members, corporators, district and block presidents, besides several others, have so far resigned from the Jammu and Kashmir unit of the Congress in support of Azad.
“My heart beats for the people of Jammu and Kashmir and even now when I am neither a minister, MP or the Chief Minister, the love and affection I am getting from the people as a human being, I am thankful to everyone for this gesture,” Azad said in his address with greeting to all those who quit Congress in his support.
The gathering at the rally is beyond my expectations and it has doubled my energy and zeal to work for the people and fight for their rights, said former leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha.
Blowing the bugle of statehood restoration to the Jammu and Kashmir, Azad said, “My first task will be the restoration of full statehood to the Jammu and Kashmir vis-a-vis protecting the rights to land domicile to natives and employment for our youth.”
“The name of my political outfit is yet to be finalised but whenever it will be decided along with flag, will be done by the people of Jammu and Kashmir and I want to assure that whatever be the name, my party will be purely ‘Hindustani’ having people irrespective of religion, caste, colour and creed under one umbrella,” said the former Union minister.
Azad, however, said his assembly will not have the Lieutenant Governor in future but the Governor, thus hinting at the restoration of status of the pre-August 5, 2019 situation.
Meanwhile, without naming the All India Congress Committee leaders, Azad said, “It was our Congress that fought for the rights of the people and the country. But, in today’s Congress, leaders go to jail and start calling the top police officers and get released in an hour and this is the reason that the Congress party has started losing its ground.”
“We formed the Congress party by giving our blood and sweat, not by sitting in front of the computer or by Tweeting messages,” Azad took a jibe at AICC leader Rahul Gandhi without naming him.
“Nobody discussed it with me before resigning from the party. It was their own decision and when they met me, replied with a smile, ‘Ibtidaye Ishq Hai Rota Hai Kya, Aage Aage Dekhiye Hota Hai Kya,” he added.
Azad also counted his achievements and the works undertaken in Jammu and Kashmir during his tenure as Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister from 2005 to 2008.