Will Press For Assembly Polls In J&K After Winter: Azad

Bhaderwah- Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Wednesday said his party would continue to press for the Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir after the winter months to provide a popular government to the people of the Union Territory.

He alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is happy with its "proxy rule" in Jammu and Kashmir and said a government, "which has no mind, eyes, ears and a heart, should be made to sit at home".

"Winter is very harsh here and therefore, the polls are not possible at this time. However, we are putting pressure on the government of India to hold the polls after winter and we will continue to do so to ensure an elected government in Jammu and Kashmir for the benefit of the people," Azad said addressing a public rally in the Bhaderwah area of Doda district.

The Congress leader said he is not interested in who becomes the chief minister and which party comes to power.

"It is the choice of the voters whom they want to give a chance but my request is that do not vote on the basis of religion," he said.

Without naming the BJP, the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said this government has no experience to rule but has a fondness for ruling.

"They stitched an alliance with a regional party (PDP) in 2015 and later, pulled out of it to have a proxy rule through the lieutenant governor. Earlier, people used to visit their elected representatives to seek redressal of their grievances but after the fall of the previous government, the miseries of the people have increased manifold as nobody was there to listen to their problems," he said.

Azad said though people were not happy with the previous coalition government, those who are now ruling Jammu and Kashmir seem to be happy and enjoying power with their workers getting all the work contracts.

He said a leader does not discriminate against people on the basis of religion and region.

"Divisive politics will ruin our great country," the former Union minister said, asking people to remain cautious against those who try to divide them on the basis of religion ahead of elections.

Referring to his close relations with leaders from other political parties, including those from the BJP, he said the times have changed and today, the situation has reached a point where leaders from different parties are treating others like "scorpions or snakes".

"It is very unfortunate.... We are all humans first and our motive should be serving the people irrespective of their religion or region. We are all Indians and the country belongs to all of us," Azad said.

"Such a government, which has no mind, eyes, ears and a heart, has no right to remain in power and should be shown the door and made to sit at home," the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said.

He also lashed out at the government for its "failure" to carry out development activities, address the issue of increasing unemployment and arrest the rising prices of essential commodities.

Later, talking to reporters, Azad said there is no government in Jammu and Kashmir and people are suffering immensely.

"Jammu and Kashmir has been pushed 20 years back by the August 5, 2019 decision, when the erstwhile state was disbanded and its special status abrogated," he said.

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