Ghulam Nabi Azad, who left Congress last month and announced to float a political party, on Sunday said that Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which granted special status to erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and was revoked in 2019, can’t be restored.
In a veiled attack at Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) which is seeking restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under the revoked Article 370 of the Constitution, Azad said he will not allow the political parties to exploit people in the name of Article 370.
Speaking at a public meeting in Baramulla in north Kashmir, the former Congress leader further said that he will not mislead people on Article 370 as it cannot come back. He also pointed out that restoration of Article 370 needs a two-thirds majority in Parliament.
In 2019, Article 370 of the Indian Constitution which granted special status to erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was abrogated by the Centre and also bifurcated the region into two union territories– Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said he will announce the formation of his new political party within 10 days and emphasized that it will be ‘Azad’ (free), like his name, in its ideology and thinking.
Talking about the agenda of the new political outfit, Azad said it would fight for restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood and to fight for the job and land rights of people.
“My party will be Azad. Many of my colleagues said we should name the party as Azad. But, I said never. But, it’s ideology will be independent, which will not join or merge with any other. That may happen after my death, but not till then,” he said, according to news agency PTI.
After serving the Congress for over five decades, 73-year-old Azad resigned from the party on August 26, after raising issues about the internal functioning of the grand old party multiple times.
In his resignation letter to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, Azad had targeted party leadership, particularly Rahul Gandhi, over the way the party has been run in the past nearly nine years.
After Azad announced his decision to resign, multiple leaders and workers followed suit and quit Congress in a massive blow to the party. Since his exit from Congress, Azad has been holding public meetings in Jammu to fortify his electoral base.