Statehood, land and jobs for locals only my main agenda: Azad
Jammu, September 4, 2022
Former senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Sunday that he would soon name his political party, and restoration of full statehood, right to ownership of land and right to employment for locals of Jammu & Kashmir would be his main agenda.
Speaking at a rally after he was given a rousing welcome on his arrival from Delhi, Azad said, "Restoration of full statehood for J&K, right to ownership of land and right to employment for the domiciles would be the main agenda of my party.
"Other main agenda point would be the return of Kashmir Pandits without any compulsion. Those who want to return should be given places to live. There should be no compulsion in this.
"I am happy that children of our Kashmiri Pandit brothers have done well in America, Europe, Calcutta and Mumbai. But, those who want to return must be given places to live in Kashmir," Azad said, adding that the violation of human rights should end in J&K.
"Kashmiri Pandits, who are doing duties in the Valley, have been made targets. These killings must immediately stop.
"I persuaded the then Prime Minister to announce an employment package of 6,000 jobs for the Pandits in the Valley. During my tenure as the chief minister, we gave 3,000 jobs to Pandit youth and since then the government has not been able to fill the remaining 3,000 posts", he said.
Talking about naming his new party and what its flag would be. Azad said in 1947, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said that the modern language of India would be Hindustani that would be understood by every Indian.
"The name of my party and its flag will be such that both people living in the rural and urban areas should be able to understand and identify these," he said.
Highlighting the achievements of his two and a half year rule as the chief minister of J&K till 2008, he said, "I did something which had never been done before anywhere in the world.
"I created the concept of double and triple shifts for developmental works which means 24X7 engagement with the progress of the state.
"I identified the land and set up Asia's first Tulip Garden in Srinagar. It was inaugurated by Sonia Gandhi and I named it as 'Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden'.
"I set up a civil golf course in Jammu for the first time. I created four new districts, made new colleges and hospitals during my short tenure of two-and-a-half years.
"If I have done less, then let my rivals say what better have they done during their rule.
"They are saying we don't want to divide, we want to integrate J&K with the rest of the country. They are calling these DDCs and nowhere in the country are they called DDCs.
"These are called Zila Parishads and the BDCs are called block Samitis from Kanyakumari to everywhere else in the country," Azad said.
Taking his critics in the Congress head on, he said, "We have formed the Congress with our blood. They are busy with Twitter and Facebook. Let them live in the virtual world while I will live with my farmers, labourers and other common people."