Downplaying Hindu chief minister assertions of PHE minister Sham Lal Sharma, senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Ghulam Nabi Azad Tuesday said it would be decided by the MLAs and not by any individual.
In an exclusive interview with KNS, Azad remarked that demand for the Hindu CM for the J&K cannot be decided by any individual but by the Congress MLAs after the elections result are declared.
“I can only say that the chief minister is chosen by the MLAs after winning the elections. This cannot be decided by any individual,” Azad told KNS on Tuesday.
PHE Minister and Congress leader Sham Lal Sharma had earlier stated, “If a person representing a minority community can be the Prime Minister of the country, why cannot a Hindu be the chief minister of the Jammu and Kashmir state.”
Over the speculations of Sharma joining BJP and his recent statement wherein he reportedly had admitted BJP wave in Jammu, Azad stressed that Congress is a strong party in the political world of the state and that it has strengthened its base much more since the past years.
Azad asserted that Congress will emerge as a single largest party in the state after the elections and that the party is much stronger as compared to its performance during the Parliament elections held in May this year.
Over forging post-poll alliance for the government formation in Jammu and Kashmir, the former chief minister remained guarded in his words, saying same will be decided after the results of the polls are declared. “At present our priority is to gain maximum seats. However, if the need arises to forge any alliance, we have our options both with NC or PDP available. Alliance will be decided after the poll results and I can say this with certainty that Congress will emerge victorious,” Azad said.
Asked whether he is the possible chief ministerial candidate, Azad again remained guarded in words, saying priority of the party at present is to register a massive win during polls. “Our focus is on polls and we strive to sweep maximum number of seats. My being the chief ministerial candidate is not important,” Azad told KNS.
However, he was quick to add that he will hold poll campaign in the entire Jammu and Kashmir till the last day of elections and three slogans would be much important during the poll campaign. “I will promise good governance to the people. I will make sure the corruption free state and a better work culture.”
Castigating BJP over its slogan of abrogation of Article 370, Azad said that no power can scrap state’s special status and that Congress will not allow anyone to fiddle with JK’s unique identity. “That person has to take rebirth again who wants to abrogate the Article 370. Congress will not allow anyone even to touch its sanity,” he asserted.
Azad took further dig at BJP, saying that its claim of ‘44 plus’ in Jammu and Kashmir is hollow and a hoax and that it actually is four and not 44. “Instead of 44 plus, BJP should strive for four seats during assembly elections in JK. The party cannot even win four seats from the state.”
Azad maintained further that the recent poll results of Haryana and Maharashtra would not even have a meagre effect upon JK polls as the state is politically different state.