‘Won’t befool people for electoral gains,’ says Ghulam Nabi Azad on Article 370

Written by Nisha Anand | Edited by Sohini Goswami

Former Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Sunday said he would not mislead people about the restoration of Article 370 of the Constitution that granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir.

Azad, who is also set to launch his party weeks after his shock exit from the grand old party, said only a government with a two-third majority in Parliament can restore the provisions of Article 370 that was abrogated by the Narendra Modi-led Centre in August 2019. He was addressing his first rally in Kashmir since quitting the Congress.

“Azad knows what can and cannot be done. I or the Congress party or three regional parties cannot give you back Article 370, neither can (TMC chief) Mamata Banerjee, nor DMK or (NCP chief) Sharad Pawar,” Azad told the gathering.

The former leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha said he will not raise slogans or issues over which he has no control.

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“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 at the public meeting held at Dak Bungalow Baramulla in north Kashmir.

Speaking about his new party, the former J&K chief minister said it will have an independent ideology. He added his party will focus on restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir and giving exclusive rights over jobs and land to its people.

He hit out at Apni Party leader Altaf Bukhari for alleging that Azad voted in favour of abrogation of Article 370.

“I voted against the Bill brought by the home ministry for the revocation of Article 370,” Azad said.

(With agency inputs)