Politics of religion harmed nation: Azad

Former CM and DAP Chairman Ghulam Nabi Azad addressing a public rally in Doda on Tuesday. -Excelsior/ Tilak Raj
Former CM and DAP Chairman Ghulam Nabi Azad addressing a public rally in Doda on Tuesday. -Excelsior/ Tilak Raj

‘People must check candidates’ report card before polls’
Gopal Sharma
JAMMU, Nov 29: Former J&K Chief Minister and Democratic Azad Party (DAP) Chairman, Ghulam Nabi Azad today said that the politics of religion has badly harmed the country and the voters must check the track record of every candidate before casting their vote to defeat the ‘divisive’ agenda.
Addressing a large public rally at Kastigarh in district Doda today, Azad described the prevailing trend of infusing religious divide for political gains by some parties as ‘unfortunate ‘ and challenged them to debate with him on development issues with regard to Jammu and Kashmir.
Azad said the religious politics has badly harmed the nation and people have suffered with no progressive roadmap available ahead. The religious politics has only engineered division and polarisation in the society and created hatred among the people of different communities. This is very dangerous for the country like India, Azad cautioned.
While asking the people to reject divisive politics, he said they should vote for candidates and parties on the basis of development.
“The voters must check the track record of every candidate and his party before casting his/her vote. That is the only way to defeat the divisive designs,” he said, adding that in the modern world, there is no space for religious politics.
Without naming any political party, Azad said attempts are being made in J&K to divide people on religious lines. “It is unfortunate that some political parties are trying to divide the people on religious grounds to secure their political interests. Instead they shall focus on developmental issues and create job avenues for our youth. But they know they cannot deliver so they are trying to adopt the communal strategy to gain power,” Azad added.
The DAP leader reminded the people of his tenure as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir for two-and-a-half years and termed it as “golden era” of developmental in the erstwhile state.
Azad alleged that entire Chenab region was neglected by the successive governments and no real development took place here. “When I became the Chief Minister, I built roads, schools and hospitals for the Chenab region. Even a university was established when even schools were unavailable for basic education in this landlocked region,” he added.
“The people of Jammu and Kashmir and Chenab Valley in particular must reject the divisive agenda and join the DAP to ensure peace, harmony and development of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir,” Azad said.
Referring to the rising unemployment in J&K, Azad said the highly educated youth are frustrated. The labourers from Chenab region have been forced to move out of the J&K UT to seek job for making livelihood for their family. During his tenure as Chief Minister, there was concept of triple-shift work and been workers from adjoining Himachal and Punjab used to come here to seek work. But today the things have reversed. Even the locals are not getting jobs in the major Hydel and other Infrastructure related projects in Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban, Azad regretted.
The DAP leader asked the people to support him as he wished to accomplish the left over projects during his previous tenure as Chief Minister. He reiterated that his party is committed for the restoration of statehood and protection of jobs and lands of the locals besides generating ample of job opportunities for the educated, less educated and labour class people in the Jammu and Kashmir.
Former ministers Ghulam Mohd Saroori and Abdul Majid Wani, senior leaders -Naresh Gupta, Sham Lal Bhagat, Aslam Goni and others also addressed the gathering. Several recently joined local DDC and BDC members attended the rally.
A large number of political activists including those from NC, Congress and BJP joined DAP on this occasion.