Jammu & Kashmir’s Statehood should be restored before holding Assembly elections: Ghulam Nabi Azad
Ghulam Nabi Azad a Senior Congress leader on Tuesday called for restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s Statehood before Assembly elections are held and asked for the land and job rights for its residents.
Speaking to reporters outside the Kheer Bhawani temple complex in Tullamulla area of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, Mr. Azad said Kashmiri Pandits who left the Valley in early 1990s in the wake of eruption of militancy must be brought back.
“The elections...should be conducted as soon as possible. But before the elections, the Statehood should be restored, which is very important forbits residents. Kashmiri Pandits should be brought back to their native lands. Our land and job (rights), which were taken away after Article 370 was revoked, should be secured like they were before (August 5, 2019) through a new law when the Statehood of j&k is restored,” he said.
On August 5, 2019, the Centre announced abrogation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and its bifurcation into Union Territories one is jammu and another one is laddaakh.
The former J&K Chief Minister visited the temple shortly after the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s visit earlier in the morning. Mr. Gandhi had left for Hazratbal shrine when Mr. Azad reached Tullamulla in J&K.
“I came from Delhi today, but the flight reached a but late and that is why we could not meet here. But since it was in my programme, I came here and will also visit to Hazratbal,” he said.
Asked about the BJP’s charge that the Congress party had lost its credibility, Mr. Azad said, “Everyone knows who has the credibility and who hasn't.” After the Kheer Bhawani visit, Mr. Azad went to Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar to pay homage. Later, he joined Mr. Rahul Gandhi at the inauguration of Congress Bhawan at M.A. Road, in Srinagar.