Azad Challenges NC To Move Beyond Former CM Sheikh Abdullah’s Legacy

Democratic Progressive Azad Party chief Ghulam Nabi Azad addresses a public meeting ahead of Lok Sabha elections, at Banihal in Ramban district.

JAMMU, Apr 16: Challenging NC president Dr Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah to move beyond the legacy of former chief minister Sheikh Abdullah, DPAP chairman Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday targeted Omar Abdullah, referring to the support “his MLAs” provided during his tenure as chief minister.

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Omar Abdullah served as the chief minister of the coalition government of Congress and National Conference (NC) in Jammu and Kashmir from 2009 to 2015. Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) chairman Azad, a former Congress leader, accused the NC of a “legacy of violence, hollow promises, and exploiting the populace”.
“I want to ask Omar Abdullah, if you served as chief minister for six years, it was because of the support of my MLAs. I extended your tenure by sharing the alliance. You didn’t do any favours. The MLAs who supported you for the chief ministership are still with me,” Azad said in a public rally here.
Azad made these remarks to counter the recent assertions by Omar Abdullah regarding the role his MLAs played in his six-year tenure as chief minister and denounced Abdullah’s “lack of gratitude” as indicative of his character.
Azad is on a campaign trail in the Ramban district for his party candidate G M Saroori pitted in a three-cornered contest with Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh of the BJP and Choudhary Lal Singh of the Congress in the Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency, which goes to polls on April 19.
Azad also claimed his role in bringing Farooq Abdullah back to Jammu and Kashmir as chief minister during a period of turmoil.
“When Farooq Abdullah left J&K due to militancy, it was my initiative that brought him back. At that time, the NC was in a precarious state. While I hold great respect for Farooq Abdullah, his son displays a lack of political maturity and understanding,” Azad said.
Azad also challenged the NC to move beyond the legacy of former chief minister Sheikh Abdullah, questioning their ability to endure the same hardships that he did.
“For how long will they bask in the legacy of Sheikh Abdullah? They couldn’t endure a day in jail like him. They are riding on his political coattails without achieving anything significant on their own,” Azad said. (Agencies)