In a significant boost for Congress, several Jammu and Kashmir Congress leaders who had resigned with Ghulam Nabi Azad returned to the party on Friday. They’re going back to the grand old party for these reasons.
“Having a political ideology is very useful. Because it tells you what you think about things you don’t know anything about, it saves a lot of time. Hendrik Hertzberg Ghulam Nabi Azad’s inability to take a firm stand on Article 370 and a variety of issues facing Jammu and Kashmir is reflected in the sudden burst of “Ghar wapsi” in the Democratic Azad Party (DAP).
The DAP has been somewhat ambivalent regarding Article 370, a contentious and polarizing topic in Jammu, the Kashmir valley, and other parts of the state. The “restoration of statehood, land rights, and employment” were among the many promises made in the DAP’s most recent vision document. However, the DAP under Azad’s leadership remained silent regarding the reinstatement of Article 370, a provision that Valley-focused parties like the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the National Conference (NC) seek to reinstate.
When Azad was the leader of the opposition in the Upper House and a member of the Congress, he opposed the repeal of Article 370 in the Rajya Sabha. He has been speaking in a variety of settings and using various words since leaving Congress. I think that Article 370 was okay because it is very important. In one location, Azad remarked, “How can anything that has been a part of the Indian constitution for 70 years be bad?”
In September 2022, he stated, “For votes, I won’t mislead people like other parties,” and that the restoration of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir was unlikely. Political parties would need a majority of approximately 350 votes in the Lok Sabha and 175 votes in the Rajya Sabha to reinstate Article 370. No political party has or will ever have this number. Because the Congress now has fewer than 50 seats in the Lok Sabha, they are making false promises when they talk about restoring Article 370.”
While writing in the Greater Kashmir, veteran journalist Anil Anand, who has closely followed Azad, summed up Azad’s situation as follows: Mr. Azad had initially taken a firm stance regarding the restoration of special status. He had stated on multiple occasions that the only thing he supported was the UT people receiving land and employment rights and returning to statehood. He may have reevaluated this stand after multiple rounds of the UT and observing the crowd’s pulse. He criticized the BJP government’s decision to remove Jammu and Kashmir’s special status in a televised interview, claiming that the decision has not changed people’s lives in a positive way, which has surprised political observers.
The DAP also applauded the Supreme Court’s decision to hear pleas challenging Article 370’s abrogation earlier. “We believe that the Supreme Court would give justice to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and protect their interests,” Azad had stated.
“Lack of clarity, vision, and ideology”: Friends and foes alike agree that Azad, 73, the former J&K chief minister, is unable to take firm positions on key issues facing the terror-stricken state despite being raised in the Congress ideology for five decades. They argue that Azad’s reported “absence of ideology, vision or clarity” is causing harm and trouble in regions, sects, and ethnicities where politics in J&K are largely shaped, not by the state’s rocky history. Yesterday, along with 17 other members, former J&K deputy chief minister Tara Chand, former JK PCC president Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed, and Balwan Singh, gave Rahul Gandhi’s “Bharat Jodo Yatra,” which will enter the state later this month, a boost.
Problem with leadership Azad’s lack of leadership skills and ability to act decisively, in addition to his lack of ideology, may be hindering DAP’s chances of winning the J&K Assembly elections this year. From Sanjay Gandhi to Sonia Gandhi, or from the 1970s to 2022, Azad was always considered to be close to the party leadership in the Congress organization. He mostly played a managerial role, carrying out Rajiv, Sanjay, and Indira Gandhi’s orders. Throughout the administrations of PV Narasimha Rao and Sitaram Kesri, Azad’s stature and equations remained largely unchanged.
The veteran leader went along with the current center of power and was not known for taking strong ideological positions on issues like Shah Bano, the Ram Temple, and economic reforms. Even though Azad served as the chief minister of J&K from 2005 to 2008, his tenure is generally regarded as one of maintaining the status quo, despite the fact that it came to an abrupt, violent, and contentious conclusion due to the transfer of government land to a shrine. The People’s Democratic Party, an ally, had also withdrew its support.
The Farooq Abdullah factor Although no formal announcement has been made regarding the Assembly polls, there is a growing consensus that elections are imminent. While the Congress and the National Conference are coming together, the DAP is deliberately projecting its pre-poll distance from the BJP.
It is said that veteran Farooq Abdullah reassured Gandhi and the Congress by stating that he and the NC would do everything in their power to kill Azad. Additionally, the presence of Farooq Abdullah at the Bharat Jodo Yatra caught the attention of numerous Kashmir observers. Azad has been working to dispel the impression that he is close to the BJP or Prime Minister Narendra Modi in private.
Even though Azad will no longer be a Member of Parliament in February 2020, he will still reside in New Delhi at 5 South Avenue Lane. Sources close to him say that he has been paying market rent of more than three lakh rupees per month, but his critics say that the high rent may have been waived because Z-Plus security is still in place.