Ghulam Nabi Azad to announce new party in 10 days
Addressing a public rally in Baramulla, north Kashmir — his first since quitting Congress a couple of weeks back — veteran leader and ex-Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said he could announce new party within 10 days. He said his party's ideology will be "independent". Its agenda will be the restoration of statehood, and land and job rights for locals.
- Despite his half-a-century-old association with the party, Azad resigned from the Congress and relinquished its primary membership on August 26.
- Earlier, he resigned as the chairman of two committees of the Congress's J&K unit within hours of his appointment.
- Queuing behind Azad, a slew of Congress leaders and workers from J&K unit quit the party expressing their support to him.
Addressing the rally at Dak Bungalow in Baramulla, Azad thanked his colleagues for standing by him and said that they would the base of his new party. He further said that his party's ideology will remain independent and not merge with any other line of thinking. He added that it was a possibility after his death. He said he wasn't against any political party.
He said that the special status of J&K under Article 370, which was revoked in 2019, could not be restored as it required a two-thirds majority in the Parliament. He said he didn't want to mislead people unlike some parties looking to exploit people in the name of Article 370. It was speculated as a veiled attack on Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD).
Article 370 was drafted in the Amendment of the Constitution section, in Part XXI, under Temporary and Transitional Provisions. Under Article 370, the Centre needed permission from the state government before enforcing laws in J&K. The Centre couldn't declare a financial emergency there either. Article 35A also granted special status to J&K with the legislature getting the final call to decide on "permanent residents".