Azad sets speculations aside, says ‘I am 24 ‘Carat’ Congressman

Jammu: Ghulam Nabi Azad Sunday put to rest all speculations about his possible exit from the party, calling himself a “24 Carat Congressman” and saying he was not upset with the party, but was instead working for unifying and uniting its workers.

The former chief minister has been holding public rallies in Jammu and Kashmir over the past nearly two months and was seen accompanied by his loyalists including senior party leaders and former ministers who recently resigned from their party posts in a revolt against J&K Congress president G A Mir.

Talking to reporters after addressing a public meeting in the border belt of Khour on the outskirts of Jammu, Azad, however, said reforms are a dynamic process and imperative for every party, society and the country as a whole for the benefit of people.

“Yes, I am a Congressman. Who told you I am not? 24 ‘Carat’ Congressman. How does it matter if 18 Carats are challenging 24 carat?” Azad said, responding to questions about the speculations of his possible exit from the party like former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh.

Azad, who was among the 23 Congress leaders who had sought an organisational overhaul last year, said he is not displeased with the party.

“Those dividing parties only see divisions. We are the ones who are linking people. We are forging unity (in the party ranks) as we are for unification,” he said.

Asked about his call for reforms, he said reforms are needed in every party, every society and country.

“Reforms are an ongoing process and necessary in every party the legislature is also a sort of reform. Many evils of the past are not there in the society today because of reforms,” he said, adding the communalism and casteism prevalent in society today also need to be reformed.

Azad said reforms are an ongoing process, a dynamic process which continues throughout the world.

About his views on “white colour terrorism” highlighted by a Srinagar-based Army officer, he said he did not know what does he meant by it.

“I have already said that the politicians should have done the right things for the welfare of the people but sometimes they did the work of Satan by dividing the people. We should desist from it,” he said.

On a question about the prospects of Congress in the next assembly elections likely to be held after the delimitation exercise, Azad said people are the masters in a democratic set-up and defeat and win of any party is in their hands.

However, he said people across Jammu and Kashmir are “fed up” with the BJP because of rising inflation and growing unemployment. (Agencies)

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