For me, J&K is one; cannot take sides: Azad

For me, J&K is one; cannot take sides: Azad
File Photo of Ghulam Nabi Azad

Jammu, Dec 25: Senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Saturday stated that he always considered Jammu and Kashmir as one unit so he could not bat for a particular region with regard to proposed increase of six seats for Jammu and one seat of Kashmir in Delimitation Commission’s interim draft.

He also stated that the practice of Darbar Move was one of the best three steps taken by erstwhile Maharajas in the interest of every region of J&K, the other two being protection of land and jobs for locals.

“However, the present ruling dispensation snatched away all three good things given to the erstwhile state by its Maharajas, who would be considered as autocrats,” the former Chief Minister said while responding to queries on decision to abandon Darbar move and the Delimitation Commission’s interim draft in an informal interaction with media persons here.

On the question of Delimitation Commission’s recommendations in its interim draft, Azad said, “For me, J&K is one so I cannot take side of one region or the other region.” Earlier during his rallies in Chenab Valley, Azad had maintained that in his opinion, three seats should be reserved for this sub-region (Chenab valley) besides Pir Panchal sub region.

He vehemently criticised the decision of the present government to abandon Darbar Move practice initiated by autocratic rulers, whose dispensation, he claimed, was better than the present one.

“I always favoured the Darbar Move practice as it was aimed at integration of three regions of J&K. Present situation in J&K is pretty bad and the situation has taken a turn from bad to worse. Development activities initiated by me and other subsequent governments in J&K have come to a halt. Scenario is equally dreary in case of business activities, the poor are turning poorer. Slump in business; lack of jobs and inflation are making people agitated and disappointed. Jammu businessmen from its main markets representing the business pulse of region are among the worst sufferers in the past five years due to slump in trade and related activities,” the former Chief Minister added.

Azad, however, exuded happiness over revival of political activities in J&K in the past few months. He stated he was happy that he initiated the process and the others were following him to revive lost contact with the people.

Meanwhille, Azad on Saturday stated that politics was the only “demon” dividing people in the name of religion, castes or regions.

While addressing a gathering in a function organised in connection with Christmas celebrations here, Azad stated, “I’ve come to this conclusion that ‘politics’ is the biggest demon in the world which divides people on different accounts including the religion and castes. In politics, people change like chameleons. They change their appearances, their perceptions, ideologies, language all for electoral benefits. To win elections for the seats of Panch, Sarpanch, BDC, DDC, MLA or MP, how much we divide people in the name of religion, caste, region or language.”

He averred, “In the process, they (politicians) never think about the extent of damage caused to the nation, society and above all, humanity. This is despicable. I always maintain that the elections should be contested and won by displaying statesmanship and on the basis of sincere performance and not by dividing people.”

Greater Kashmir