Will make laws to protect jobs, land if voted to power: Azad

Former J&K CM and DPAP chairman Ghulam Nabi Azad addressing a public rally at Barnoti in Kathua on Sunday. -Excelsior/ Pardeep

‘Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification a wrong step’

Gopal Sharma

KATHUA, Mar 26: Former J&K Chief Minister and Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) chairman Ghulam Nabi Azad today said that the people of Jammu Kashmir have only right over its resources and he will pass the laws in the State Assembly to bar outsiders from purchasing land here and securing jobs, if elected to power.
While addressing a public rally at Barnoti in Kathua today Azad said the present regime despite making tall claims to offer abundant job opportunities to local youth have failed miserably and on the other hand is snatching the land from locals who feed their families from it.
“The land is meant for people and when it is taken away from them what is the use of it. No Government has the right to snatch the livelihood of people, rather it is bound to offer more economic opportunities,” he said.
Azad said while the present regime did some good things that benefited the people, all that was washed away after it imposed anti-people decisions like land eviction order, property tax imposition and contracts to outsiders.
He said if his party comes to power, he will ensure jobs and land is protected for the local people. He also criticized the decision of the Government for allotting land to 1965 PoK refugees but not granting the ownership rights. Azad said that to improve the economic conditions of people, the Government should also provide compensation to farmers who face damage to their crops due to excessive rains.
DPAP leader said to empower the people of Jammu and Kashmir politically and economically, restoration of Statehood is must and he will fight for it as long as it is not restored.
Azad termed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification from the Lok Sabha a “wrong thing” and said it does not bode well for democracy.
Gandhi was sentenced to two years in jail by a Surat court in a 2019 criminal defamation case over his “why all thieves have Modi surname” remark. He was later disqualified from the Lok Sabha from the date of his conviction in the case.
“I am against this, whether he is Rahul Gandhi or Lalu Prasad Yadav or any other MP or MLA. It is against natural justice that on one side a Judge delivered a judgment and on the other, the MP or MLA is disqualified,” Azad told reporters on the sidelines of the rally.
“Earlier, the rule was that he or she won’t be disqualified till the last court does not award him punishment. There are 20 steps before reaching the last court. This does not go well with the democracy,” the former Congress leader said.
“Earlier, Lalu Prasad Yadav was disqualified and now Rahul Gandhi. This way, the entire Parliament and Assemblies will become vacant,” he said, adding, “There should be a separate yardstick for political leaders.”
Azad said that DPAP is the only political party which fights for the issues of people and people have been realizing it with their massive participation in our rallies and meetings. “After seeing the response of people, we have started a membership drive across all districts. By the time elections are held in Jammu and Kashmir, it will be emerging as the largest political party in the Union Territory,” Azad claimed.
He said DPAP is the only political party with acceptance to all communities and it will be the binding force in coming times to unite people of all faiths and regions.
Among others who attended the rally included- GM Saroori vice chairman, Jugal Kishore- Provincial president, Subhash Gupta (Ex-MLC), chief spokesperson Salman Nizami, Zonal president Ch Gharu Ram, Vinod Mishra general secretary, senior leaders Davinder Singh Bindu, Brijeshwar Singh Indu, Riyaz Bashir Naz, Prabha Salathia- Mahila Wing president, Aradhna Andotra, Parveen Bhagat, Gurmeet Kaur spokesperson and others.