Azad to announce his new party within 10 days with “Azad” ideology
Accusing political parties of befooling public on Article 370, rephrases Bose’s slogan saying, “I will spill my blood, you support me for restoration of statehood, security of jobs and land”
Baramulla: Former Congress stalwart, Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Sunday that he will he will announce the formation of his new political party within 10 days and asserted that its ideology will be “Azad”.
Addressing his maiden public rally at Dak Bungalow Baramulla, after parting ways with Congress after 50 years, Azad said that the agenda of the new political outfit would be to struggle for the restoration of J&K’s statehood and to fight for the job and land rights of people.
Thanking his colleagues, whom he described as ‘base of my party,’ Azad said that the new party will be announced within the next 10 days.
Azad said his new party will be ‘Azad’ (free), like his name, in its ideology and thinking.
“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 Azad, which will not join or merge with any other,” he said.
The former leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha said the emphasis will be to struggle for the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood and protection of job and land rights of its people.
“My party will be development-oriented. Its agenda will be to give employment opportunities to the people,” he added, as he reminded people of his developmental works when he was the chief minister of J&K.
Referring to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s famous speech in which he had asked people to give him blood and in return he will give them freedom, Azad appealed the people of J&K that he will spill his blood for them if they support him.
“But, I request you not to fall prey to false slogans,” he said.
Azad slammed those promising the restoration of Article 370 even though it was not in their hands and said he would not mislead the people over the issue.
He said only a government with a two-thirds majority in Parliament can ensure the restoration of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Azad knows what can and cannot be done. I or the Congress party or the regional parties cannot give you back Article 370, neither can (TMC chief) Mamata Banerjee, or DMK or (NCP chief) Sharad Pawar,” the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir said.
The former Union minister said he would not raise issues over which he has no control.
“Some people have been saying that I don’t talk about Article 370. I want to tell them that Azad does not befool people for electoral gains,” he said.
“I swear before God that I will not mislead you. I will not raise such slogans or issues over which I have no control,” he said.
Azad said only a party with a two-thirds majority in Parliament can restore the special status of the erstwhile state which was revoked by the Centre in August 2019.
“Congress party hasn’t been able to achieve more than 50 Lok Sabha seats in the last ten years. Let God help them. But, I have been in politics, and I don’t think the Congress party can get over 350 seats in my lifetime. Its strength is decreasing in Rajya Sabha with every state loss,” he said.
“Where from can I get it? Where can I get those votes needed in Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha? Why mislead people? So, tell me who is lying? Me, or they?” he added.
Azad said it is “another betrayal” with the people of J&K when some parties say they will restore Article 370.
“This is a material for another agitation. Till Azad is alive, he will have to be killed to kill his ideology. I will not allow the people to be used for electoral gains on the basis of religion…. whether I win or not, whether I secure four votes or lakhs of them,” he said.
“Much blood has spilled, but if you support me, the blood will be mine now,” he said.
He said he would not promise the moon and stars to the people but only the things that are achievable like the restoration of statehood.
“Statehood can be achieved because there is no constitutional amendment needed… We don’t need a two-thirds majority for that. Our lands should be ours only and no outsiders should be able to own them.
“Our jobs should be ours only. Parliament is not needed for these two issues. So, I talk only about those things which can be achieved,” he said.
He said political parties should not raise those slogans whose resolution is not in their hands or the hands of the people.
He said had he not been an MP or the leader of the opposition, there would have been no one to raise the voice of the people of J&K in Parliament.
Some people, he pointed out, say they went to jail for not supporting the revocation of Article 370, but Azad did not.
“Had I been here (in Kashmir), I too would have been jailed… But, it did not stop me. I came to Srinagar and Jammu twice but was not allowed to move from the airports. Then I approached the Supreme Court for sharing the pain of the people of J&K,” he said.