Azad’s Stand on Art 370 Triggers Reactions

SRINAGAR: Ghulam Nabi Azad, who fled Congress and is about to launch his own party, has started facing the music for his assertion that there was no possibility of restoration of Article 370. While the political class has started reacting, even sections of the people have started debating his claims and logic.

“It’s his personal opinion,” former Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti was quoted as saying, insisting that “we” keep ‘positive thinking’. “Congress had raised its voice against the British and stopped them. Similarly, there are voices in J&K who believe 370 will be reinstated and this will be resolved.”

“Who told him (Azad) to restore Article 370?”  Prof Saifuddin Soz, who is also from Baramulla, has asked in a statement, asserting Azad has “misunderstood” his own position. while talking to a local news gathering agency. “To the best of my knowledge, the Central Government had no authority to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution of India on August 5, 2019, unilaterally.”

“I feel sad that many people in Jammu and Kashmir have realized that the narrative of Ghulam Nabi Azad is no different from the narrative of the BJP.”

Azad, in his maiden public meeting in Baramulla on Sunday, said Article 370 can be restored only by a party that has a two-thirds majority.

“Azad knows what can and cannot be done. I or the Congress party or three regional parties cannot give you back Article 370, neither can (TMC chief) Mamata Banerjee, or DMK or (NCP chief) Sharad Pawar,” Azad said in his long speech. “Some people have been saying that I don’t talk about Article 370. I want to tell them that Azad does not befool people for electoral gains.”

Azad said Congress has not been able to achieve more than 85 Lok Sabha seats in one decade. “I don’t think the Congress can get over 350 seats in the Lok Sabha elections,” he said. “Where from can I get it? Why (to) mislead people?”

Though Azad’s logical stand – almost a clone of the Apni Party stand, is realistic, people have started talking negatively about Azad. Some of the loyalists who wanted to join him have halted the idea, for the time being.

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