Supporters Of Ghulam Nabi Azad Hold Meeting In Jammu

Jammu- Several leaders and activists, who resigned from the Congress following in Ghulam Nabi Azad’s footsteps, met under former Jammu and Kashmir minister G M Saroori’s leadership to ramp up support for the senior leader in his next endeavour.

Azad, a Congress veteran who resigned from the party on August 26, is scheduled to reach Jammu on September 4. He has announced floating a new party beginning with Jammu and Kashmir where assembly polls are due.

“Over 500 prominent Congress leaders and workers, including corporators, panchayat members and block-level leaders, have resigned from the party in support of Azad. The meeting was convened to send a message that we all are with Azad,” Saroori told PTI late on Sunday.

“In the coming days, you will see political stalwarts across the country strengthening the hands of Azad by becoming members of his party. Since Jammu and Kashmir is likely to go for assembly elections after the completion of a special summary revision of electoral rolls on November 25, the focus of Azad is here,” he said.

Saroori, a former vice president of the Congress state unit, said the new party will contest in all the 90 assembly seats and “we are confident that Azad will be the next chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir”.

He said the doors of the new party would be open to all secular-minded people and parties.

Former legislators Haji Abdul Rashid, Mohammad Amin Bhat, Gulzar Ahmad Wani and Choudhary Mohd Akram were present in the meeting, which saw several new faces including former advocate general Mohammad Aslam Goni joining the Azad camp.

Azad, 73, a former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, ended his five-decade association with the Congress on Friday, terming it comprehensively destroyed and lashing out at Rahul Gandhi for demolishing its entire consultative mechanism.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir BJP president Ravinder Raina said his party is capable of winning the next assembly elections on its own strength.

“Azad’s resignation exposed Congress leadership…what he is going to do next is his own decision. If he has decided to float his own party, nobody can stop him, he said.

Raina said the BJP is not going to have any pre-poll alliance with any party as we are capable of winning the elections on our own strength. We will win 50-plus seats and the next chief minister will be from BJP.

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