Azad to launch new party, flag today

Former J&K Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad talking to media persons after arriving from New Delhi at Jammu on Sunday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
Former J&K Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad talking to media persons after arriving from New Delhi at Jammu on Sunday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

* Process for registration with ECI set in motion

Gopal Sharma
JAMMU, Sept 25: Former J&K Chief Minister and veteran Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who ended his 53-year old association with the Congress Party last month, is going to launch new party at Jammu tomorrow.
“At a crowded press conference on Monday, Azad in presence of his close associates will announce his new party and also launch party flag at 12 noon,” a close aide of Azad told Excelsior.
“The party name and flag has also been finalized. The party flag will be of three colours having no similarity with the Indian National Congress flag. Moreover, the Congress name has also been avoided in the nomenclature of the new party,” he added.
He, however, refused to share the information on the name of the new party and maintained that Azad himself would declare the name of the party at the press conference tomorrow at a local hotel near Dogra Chowk in Jammu.
Earlier, after arriving from the Jammu airport, Azad told media-persons that he will be inviting the media tomorrow before the launch of the party. He will also meet workers and leaders during two day stay in Jammu.
Another close aide of the former J&K Chief Minister said, ” Azad had two back to back separate meetings with senior and second rung leaders during the day today. He is also visiting Srinagar on September 27.”
He said the name and the flag of the new party have been finalised and it is now a matter of a day before the new party becomes a reality on the political landscape of Jammu and Kashmir.
“After declaring name of the party, the names of about 200 executive committee members along with the copy of resolution and by-laws besides party symbol will be forwarded to the Election Commission of India. The names of party chairman, president, vice president, general secretary and treasurer etc will also be declared and forwarded along with the list besides other formalities for the registration of the party to the Election Commission of India,” he added.
“This process may take some time. Already lot of spade work has been done over it. During today’s meeting also, many issues with regard to party road map, by-laws, symbol etc were discussed. About 1200 parties were derecognized by the Election Commission of India in the recent past. On party symbol also the matter came under discussion. Some symbols will be forwarded along with the list and the ECI will take a final call on it. This process may take at least one month’s time ,” he maintained.
It is pertinent to mention here that Azad, 73, quit Congress on August 26, terming the party `comprehensively destroyed’. He also lashed out at Rahul Gandhi for “demolishing” the party’s entire consultative mechanism.
Over two dozen prominent Congress leaders including former Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand, several former Ministers/legislators including Peerzada Mohd Sayed, Taj Mohiuddin, G M Saroori, R S Chib, Jugal Kishore, Abdul Majid Wani, Balwan Singh, Abdul Rashid Dar, Dr Manohar Lal, Mohd Amin Bhat and others also resigned from the Congress in support of Azad. Two former legislators, one each of the PDP and Apni Party, also followed the suit. Some more prominent people from the Congress and Apni Party in J&K are likely to join Azad’s party within one week of the launch of new party, the sources added.
Azad had already declared that the top agendas of his party will be to restore Statehood to J&K and protect the land and job rights of the locals.