Azad to launch new party with rally in Jammu today
A week after abandoning the Indian National Congress (INC) ship with a scathing attack on the Gandhis, veteran leader Ghulam Nabi Azad is all set to launch his new party in Jammu and Kashmir. The former chief minister is expected to announce the formation of his party at a political rally in Jammu on Sunday. Here's more.
- 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.
- A number of veteran leaders have been resigning from key positions or quitting a shaken-up Congress altogether.
Azad, expected to center his political mission around safeguarding jobs and land for J&K locals, will be chairing a rally in Sanik Colony on Sunday, reports said. As an independent party, Azad will now have the option to form political alliances with mainstream parties- Mehbooba Mufti's People's Democratic Party (PDP) or Farooq Abdullah's National Conference (NC), or even the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The veteran may shift away from the trend of pro/anti-Article-370 politics in the border state, a close aide of Azad told The Hindu. Azad may not demand "reversing the clock" and may focus on tabling new laws related to jobs and land "under different nomenclature". Hence, he will be a rare political voice that refrains to demand special status for J&K.
After the controversial abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019, Azad and J&K Apni Party chief Altaf Bukhari were the only two voices that focused on moving on. Azad has previously said that "there is no point in raising Article 370".
Jammu, JK | Banners seen erected ahead of a rally by Ghulam Nabi Azad to be held on September 4 pic.twitter.com/nTNAeHOLbI— ANI (@ANI) September 2, 2022
On Saturday, the veteran took yet another jibe at the Congress and said that meeting a rival politician does not change someone's DNA. The leader was responding to Congress's Jairam Ramesh who said Azad's DNA had been 'modi-fied' after the latter's resignation. "If you meet people from other political parties and talk to them, it does not change your DNA," Azad said.
Azad resigned from the Congress last week after writing a five-page letter to Sonia Gandhi and referring to Rahul Gandhi as "childish". He accused the leadership of attempting to "foist a non-serious individual at the helm" and sidelining senior leaders by letting a "coterie of inexperienced sycophants" lead INC. Ever since, the party's J&K unit has witnessed mass resignations in support of Azad.