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Azad meets delegations ahead of finalizing name of his new party

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Jammu: Several delegations on Monday visited former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad at his residence here, a day after he returned from Delhi to a warm welcome by his supporters after quitting Congress last month to launch his own party.

The delegations comprising large number of people from the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch and Chenab valley including Doda, Bhalessa, Khara, Batyas, Chilly and Gandoh, Kishtwar and Banial visited Azad at his Gandhi Nagar residence, Azad’s close aide said.

Addressing his first public meeting after returning from Delhi on Sunday, Azad had said that he is staying for four days in Jammu to meet delegations from different parts of the region before visiting Doda, Kishtwar and Kashmir.

“The process of interactions started this morning with various delegations visiting Azad and extending their support to him. The process of interactions will continue till Wednesday,” the aide said.

Azad, 73, ended his five-decade-long association with the Congress on August 26, terming the party “comprehensively destroyed”. He also lashed out at Rahul Gandhi for “demolishing” the party’s entire consultative mechanism.

During the public meeting, the veteran leader said he would announce the name of his new party after consulting people and leaders of Jammu and Kashmir, but added “it will be in neither Maulana’s Urdu nor Pandit’s Sanskrit”.

He, however, spelled out the agenda of his yet-to-be-named party — the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood, protection of land and job rights of its residents, and the return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits.

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