Don’t want to expose secrets of ‘some people’: Azad

Fomer J&K Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad addressing large public rally at Chhatroo in Kishtwar on Saturday. — Excelsior/Ajay Shan
Fomer J&K Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad addressing large public rally at Chhatroo in Kishtwar on Saturday. — Excelsior/Ajay Shan

‘Unemployment, poverty forced J&K workers to move outside’
Gopal Sharma
KISHTWAR, Sept 10: Cautioning ‘some people’ in Congress and outside to mind their own business, former Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today said that he doesn’t want to expose the secrets of ‘some people’ with whom he has worked for long and they must avoid to indulge in ‘mud-slinging’.
Talking to media-persons on the sidelines of a large rally at Chhatroo in district Kishtwar today, Azad said , “I least bother, who says what. Some people are telling me that I am working on the agenda of ruling party at the Centre, some terming my new party as a, b or c team of BJP and some leveling other allegations.”
“I’m least bothered about the allegations being raised by the people from the party, which I left recently or other political parties here. I know ‘personal secrets’ of many people in Congress and outside. I know ‘some people’ whose public faces were different but found working on some other agendas. It is not good to expose the people with whom I had very long association. It is better they mend their ways and mind their own business,” Azad said while sending warning signals to some top people in his old party.
He also referred to the utterances of a few local leaders speaking against him and his ‘new party’ and said it is better they work for the welfare of the people of this region and mind their own job. “I always believe in performing in every sector and usually never speak against any one. But sometimes after getting angry over their ugly remarks, I am forced to counter. But later, perhaps I regret some times, not to retaliate. Only a weak person, under frustration speaks against others. A strong one, hardly do it and tries to stay away from mud-slinging, rather focuses on his job,” Azad maintained.
Referring to the massive migration of poor people from Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban to the neighbouring States of Himachal, Uttarakhand, Punjab and even Ladakh, Azad said that these people have been forced to move outside for the last 3-4 years as they are unable to get labour work or other allied jobs in own areas. He said as Chief Minister in J&K he introduced triple- shift work culture. Many roads, bridges, Water Supply Schemes, power project works were launched during that time. The labour class people, masons, small and big contractors, employed and unemployed engineers, all were happy because they were getting work and their economic condition also improved. Had they started even double-shift work, the poor villagers from Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Mahore, Poonch, Rajouri would not have migrated in search of job to Ladakh, Himachal or Uttarakhand, Azad asserted.
The former J&K Chief Minister said about 15 years ago he established many hospitals in rural areas of J&K and provided doctors and allied staff. But unfortunately, now when he is meeting people in various corners, he came to know that there are no doctors in these hospitals. Where these doctors have gone now? Who will post these doctors to rural and remote area hospitals? The miseries of the people have gone manifold after the bifurcation of J&K into two UTs.
When asked some people say that Azad was avoiding to raise Art 370 issue, former Chief Minister said Article 370 was restoration of Statehood and 35-A protections to land and jobs. “They believe in polarization and we believe in real work. Hum Aaam Khane Mein Vishwas Karte Hain, Wo Guthliyan Ginte Hain,” Azad remarked.
Azad said he would launch his new party shortly. He came here to meet people and have assessment and some ground work for his further journey. But the love and support he got from the people from all the communities here is immense and even 3-4 times more than the days when he was in the Congress Party. It was not possible for him to cover entire J&K this time, he realized that he had tremendous support from the people all over Jammu and Kashmir. The people want restoration of statehood, protection of jobs and lands and installation of a popular Government in J&K, he added.
Referring to the recent targeted killings by militants in the Valley, he said, “Such killings should stop forthwith and anyone willing to return should be provided security and accommodation. We do not want anyone to be forced to return to Kashmir,” he added.
Azad said his party would work to ensure honour, dignity, respect and integrity of the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir and start Confidence-Building Measures.
Azad said Industry in Jammu, Samba and Kathua is facing closure after COVID-19 crisis. Over 60 % Industries have closed down. Thousands of workers have turned jobless. There is great need to revive the ailing J&K industry for providing much needed support, create more and more skill development institutes and train our work force /youth, he added.
Unfortunately, after snatching of Statehood, outsiders have taken full control on miner minerals like- sand and gravel, With this the rates of sand, stones, gravel (Bajri) etc has gone sky high. Constructing a house has gone beyond the control of a middle class or lower middle class family. There is loot of local resources which is needed to be plugged. The price hike has also made the life of poor people miserable. The people are unable to project their issues in the absence of a popular Government.
Former Minister Ghulam Mohd Saroori also spoke on the occasion.