NEW DELHI: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) president Ghulam Nabi Azad has expressed his scepticism regarding a covert relationship between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Azad highlighted a lack of proactive measures from Congress to strengthen its position, suggesting a covert alliance between the two major political entities. “Sometimes I doubt that Congress is allied with the BJP. Earlier, 23 leaders were fighting for a change in the system in Congress, but the leadership was not listening to anything. When issues were raised, they said that they were talking in the BJP’s language. Sometimes I feel that they (Congress) themselves want the BJP to win,” Ghulam Nabi Azad told ANI.

#WATCH | Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) chief Ghulam Nabi Azad says, “…Whichever party comes to power the biggest issue for them to solve is poverty, unemployment, reduce inflation… Sometimes I doubt that Congress is allied with the BJP…” pic.twitter.com/UfigJyHuUZ

— ANI (@ANI) April 15, 2024

Internal Dissent Within Congress

Azad pointed out internal dissent within the Congress party, referring to the discontent among 23 leaders seeking reforms within the organization. He criticized the party leadership for dismissing these concerns, attributing their grievances to rhetoric aligned with the BJP’s narrative. This sentiment, according to Azad, raises suspicions about Congress’s true intentions and its stance vis-à-vis its political adversaries.

Focus On Key Socio-Economic Issues

Shifting the discourse towards pressing national and regional concerns, Azad emphasized the paramount importance of addressing poverty, unemployment, and inflation. Regardless of the ruling party, he asserted that tackling these socio-economic challenges should be the top priority for any administration. Azad also urged the electorate to prioritize developmental agendas over religious affiliations during elections. Speaking at a public gathering in Doda, he underscored the significance of fostering an environment where political discourse centres on progress and inclusive growth rather than divisive rhetoric.

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Turmoil In Kashmir

Unabashedly criticizing all political factions, including separatist groups, Azad held them responsible for exacerbating the longstanding turmoil in Kashmir. He lamented the loss of lives and the exodus of leaders from the region after inciting unrest, emphasizing the need for accountability and introspection within the political landscape. Reflecting on his tenure as Chief Minister, Azad invoked memories of developmental strides undertaken during his leadership, urging voters to consider his track record while exercising their franchise. 

Elections In Jammu and Kashmir

The upcoming electoral schedule for different constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir was also discussed, with Azad addressing the imminent polls in Udhampur, Jammu, Anantnag-Rajouri, Srinagar, and Baramulla. Notably, this election marks a significant juncture in the region’s political trajectory after the abrogation of Article 370 and the bifurcation into union territories. Following the landmark decision to revoke Article 370 and reconfigure the erstwhile state, Jammu and Kashmir’s electoral dynamics have undergone substantial transformations. With Ladakh no longer comprising a Lok Sabha constituency, the parliamentary representation has been recalibrated. The aftermath of these constitutional amendments has set the stage for a recalibration of political equations and electoral strategies in the region.

The impending elections hold heightened significance in light of the Supreme Court’s directive last year, affirming the constitutional validity of the Article 370 abrogation and mandating the Election Commission of India to conduct assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir by September 30, 2024. This electoral exercise is poised to shape the region’s political trajectory and determine its governance framework for the foreseeable future.

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I4K Staff

India 4 Kashmir is a Pan-India movement to reclaim our lost ground and rehabilitate common Indians in Kashmir with dignity and honour.

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