Rajouri: Former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Thursday reaffirmed his loyalty towards Congress stating that he had been part of it (Congress) for the last four decades and would remain so.
In the same breath, he renewed his vow to fight for “his people of J&K against the injustice they were being meted to.”
Azad slammed the Union Territory (UT) administration for snatching jobs instead of providing employment to youth and launching “a spree of terminations.”
He was addressing a public rally at Dak Bungalow Surankote in Poonch district.
Former Chief Minister maintained that he was approached by several political parties after his tenure as Rajya Sabha member ended.
“After my tenure as RS member ended, I was approached by several political parties except BJP. They offered me an RS seat as well. But I refused to join any of those parties. I declined their offers. I am and have been part of Congress for the last four decades and will remain so,” he said.
Further, he said that keeping in view the present circumstances he decided to be “among the people and fight against injustice which they were facing.”
Taking a dig at the present government in J&K, Azad said that the UT government emerged as a “job- snatcher rather than job-giver.”
“In our times also, there was a law to remove ‘deadwood’ or non-performing government officials from the services. We removed some of them too. But presently the government seems to be on a spree to remove employees from services,” Azad said.
He stated that unemployment and inflation had always been the “areas of great concern” for Jammu and Kashmir people as compared to the people in other states where they had huge chunks of land for survival.
Lashing out at the Government of India, Azad said that the Centre was unaware of the history and geography of Jammu and Kashmir.
“A political party used to mention one lakh square kilometres of land in Jammu and Kashmir but it was not aware that 60000 square kilometres out of this land was in Ladakh. And there too only 1000 square kilometres, out of 60000 square kilometres, comprised fertile agricultural land,” Azad said, taking an indirect dig at BJP.
“We do not have enough land for the present population of Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.
He stated that the conduct of assembly elections was the need of the hour in Jammu and Kashmir. “Only a democratic government and its representatives elected by the public themselves can serve in a true sense,” he averred.
Azad also appreciated the former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee for his vision and constructive approach.
He said that people in twin districts had seen tough times, ranging from Indo-Pak wars to militancy.
“However the liaison between the civil population and army is remarkable and highly appreciable. I must say and even the former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi used to describe the people living along borders as “real warriors” and “patriots” like an army man,” Azad said.
“However, the way the present government is snatching land and jobs of these warriors and is also imposing cases upon them is painful to see,” he added.