Cong asks party cadre to start preparations for polls in J&K

Senior AICC leader Ghulam Nabi Azad talking to media persons at Jammu Airport on Saturday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
Senior AICC leader Ghulam Nabi Azad talking to media persons at Jammu Airport on Saturday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

Gopal Sharma

JAMMU, July 31: Former Union Minister and senior AICC leader, Ghulam Nabi Azad today asked the party cadre to start preparations for the Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

Click here to watch video
While interacting with the party delegations from Jammu East, West and Jammu Rural besides other areas, Azad asked party leaders and office bearers to gear up their activities in view of the next Assembly elections. He also asked them to reach out to the people and project their issues before the Administration.
Azad said BJP leadership has launched its vigorous campaign keeping an eye on next Assembly elections in J&K. Not only J&K UT level, but their national leaders have also become more active now in J&K. The other parties should also launch their activities. He said J&K Congress unit should start its preparations from today itself for the next Assembly elections.
In a brief interaction with media-persons while leaving from Jammu Airport for his Gandhi Nagar residence here, Azad said everyone should take part in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly election whenever they are held.
Replying to a question about the possibility of Assembly election in the Union Territory of J&K, Azad said as of now, the delimitation exercise is on. “I think delimitation is the priority of the Government right now. Thereafter elections will also be held. Since, they have started their preparations for the polls, the other parties should also start preparing for the elections,” Azad maintained.
Referring to cloudburst incident in Dachhan and Paddar in Kishtwar and also in Kargil and Himachal, Azad said it is very unfortunate and painful incident. Many precious lives have been lost and property damaged. “We hope the Government would rehabilitate the victims and provide them all possible help,” Azad maintained.
When asked during interaction with reporters that the BJP had already started preparing for the Assembly polls, Azad said, ” All parties, including the Congress, should make preparations. All people should take part in the elections,” he added.
On the Pegasus issue, Azad said the opposition has already raised the issue in Parliament and is demanding a discussion on it.
“I am on a three-day tour of Jammu. I will be available for every one across the Jammu division, including my own party workers and others who want to discuss their problems with me,” the Congress leader said.
Earlier, a large number of Congress workers and leaders including former DyCM Tara Chand, Yogesh Sawhney, GM Saroori, Jugal Kishore, Dr Manohar Lal Sharma, Subhash Gupta, Naresh Gupta, Mohd Amin, Vinod Mishra, Narinder Sharma, Gaurav Chopra and others assembled outside Jammu Airport to receive Azad and raised slogans in his support. He was garlanded profusely and then taken in the form of car rally up to his residence.
Azad, a former J&K Chief Minister, is in the city here on a three-day visit and on his arrival at the airport, supporters demanded that Congress leaders, who burnt his effigy during a protest in March, should be expelled.
Meanwhile, a party spokesman said that at least 30 delegations called on Azad at his private residence at Gandhi Nagar today. He said Azad started meeting delegations at around 2 pm and till 9 pm around 30 delegations including mostly from Jammu district (Rural and Urban), from R S Pura, Bishnah, Suchetgarh, Marh, Akhnoor, Khour, Raipur-Domana, Nagrota, Jammu East, West, Gandhinagar, besides Jammu Wine Traders Association, Transporters, Unemployed Dental Surgeons and others called on Azad and discussed their issues. Tomorrow, the delegations from Kathua, Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Reasi, Rajouri and Poonch would meet him. Azad will leave for Delhi on Monday morning.