Congress leaders come out in Azad's support

In his 28-minute speech, he used several couplets and hoped for the restoration of peace in Jammu and Kashmir. [Screengrab]

Congress leaders Wednesday came out in support of former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and condemned the act of burning of his effigy.

They also sought action against Congress leader Shahnawaz Choudhary and defended Azad.

“He never speaks against the Congress or creates any division,” said Jahangir Mir, Congress leader and former Deputy Chairman, Legislative Council, erstwhile J&K state. “He is a towering political leader and a follower of Mahatma Gandhi.”

Mir said that the protest against Azad was “sponsored” and that he condemned it.

“There is anger among the people especially in Congress against the act of burning of his effigy,” he said.

Mir said action would be taken against Shahnawaz Choudhary for going against the party’s constitution.

“I also was not given ticket many times but that doesn’t mean that I should go against the party and hold a protest against senior leaders,” he said.

Mir said in the past, everyone praised the former prime minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee as such things were part of a vibrant democracy.

Earlier, former legislator Akram Choudhary said that those who protested against Azad did not belong to Congress.

Choudhary said Shahnawaz Choudhary had contested against me in DDC elections from Surankote.

Meanwhile, a protest in support of Azad was organised in Kathua district and the anti-Azad protest was condemned.