Ghulam Nabi Azad Announces Name of New Party: Here’s What To Expect

The former CM of J&K said he will not make the restoration of Article 370 an election issue.

3 min read
Hindi Female

Ghulam Nabi Azad, who ended his decades-old association with the Congress last month, announced the name of his new political party on Monday, 26 September, as 'Democratic Azad Party.'

"Around 1,500 names for my new party were sent to us, in Urdu and Sanskrit. The mix of Hindi and Urdu is 'Hindustani'. We want the name to be democratic, peaceful and independent," Azad said at a press conference in Jammu.

The leader also unveiled the flag of his new party, which is a mixture of blue, white and yellow.

"The mustard colour indicates creativity and unity in diversity; white indicates peace, and blue indicates freedom, open space, imagination and limits from the depths of the ocean to the heights of the sky," the former Jammu and Kashmir CM said. Unveiling his roadmap for the public of Jammu and Kashmir, below is what he said his party will work towards.

Will Not Make Restoration of Article 370 Election Issue, Says Azad

Announcing 50 percent tickets to youth and women in the next assembly polls, the former Congress leader said he will not make the restoration of Article 370 an election issue in Jammu and Kashmir.

Earlier this month at his maiden rally after splitting from the Congress, he had slammed slammed those promising the restoration of Article 370 even though it was not in their hands and said he would not mislead the people over the issue.

"Azad knows what can and cannot be done. I or the Congress party or the regional parties cannot give you back Article 370, neither can (TMC chief) Mamata Banerjee, or DMK or (NCP chief) Sharad Pawar," he had said.

Replying to a question about Kashmir-centric parties, particularly the PDP, criticising his remarks on Article 370, Azad said on Monday, 26 September, "You just check Parliament records of who has spoken or who has not (on Article 370). Get the records of Parliament on any one's name. But my take is simply that I don't use such issues for elections."

Azad asserted he has never said restoration of Article 370 was not possible.

I never said this cannot happen. I said that I cannot convince Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji. If anyone can persuade Modi ji and Union Home Minister Amit Shah ji, they should do it. It will be a welcome step. I do not have any such influence on Modi ji,"
Ghulam Nabi Azad, former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir on restoration of Article 370

He said only Parliament can restore Article 370 but "we need a majority."


'No Discrimination Based on Religion'

The former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir also said there will be no discrimination on the basis of religion.

“Our policies will not be impacted by sectarianism or religion," PTI quoted him as saying. Everyone is free whether he is going to a Temple, Mosque, Gurdwara or Church, he added.

'Ideology Will Be Based on Ideals of Mahatma Gandhi'

The former Union minister said his party symbolises democracy and freedom of speech and thought. "Our ideology will be based on the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi," he said.

He also stressed that his party would have no age bar. "Youth and veterans would co-exist in the party," he underlined, according to Hindustan Times.

He also underlined that his party would be a democratic one and not an autocratic one. He also said DAP will have "no competition" with any other political party and it will rather focus on "strengthening" peace and normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir.

Azad's Resignation from Congress

Azad had resigned from the Congress on 26 August through a public letter, after launching a scathing attack against the top leadership, most prominently Rahul Gandhi.

More than two-dozen prominent Congress leaders had followed suit and resigned from the party after Azad stepped down. They included former deputy chief minister Tara Chand, several former minister and legislators.

Calling Sonia Gandhi a mere nominal figurehead, Azad claimed that all the important decisions were being made by Rahul Gandhi and his "security guards and PAs."

He also said that Rahul Gandhi insulted all senior party functionaries who had given their lives to the party when he stepped down as party president.

The Congress, on the other hand, had said that the contents of Azad's resignation letter were not factual.

(With inputs from PTI and Hindustan Times.)

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