Former Congress leader and ex-Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Ghulam Nabi Azad on Sunday announced that he will announce the name of his new political party within 10 days. He reiterated that the core agenda of his party is to restore statehood to Jammu and Kashmir.

Addressing his first public rally in Kashmir Valley after snapping 50 years of relations with Congress, Azad announced that programmes and policies of the new party would be formulated by incorporating the wishes and aspirations of all sections of the society.

"We will accommodate aspirations of all regions and sub-regions of Jammu and Kashmir while formulating our policies", Azad said but reiterated that statehood for J&K would be top of his party's agenda. He also said that he has not promised restoration of Article 370 in his new political agenda because he doesn't believe in making false promises.

Addressing a public meeting in north Kashmir's Baramulla town, Azad said, "To restore Article 370 would need around 350 votes in the Lok Sabha and 175 votes in the Rajya Sabha. This is a number no political party has or is likely to ever get. The Congress has shrunken to less than 50 seats and if they speak of restoring Article 370, they are making false promises."

Ghulam Nabi Azad
Ghulam Nabi Azad addressing first public meeting on in Kashmir on Sunday after quitting Congresssocial media

He said that agenda of the new political outfit would be to struggle for the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir's statehood and to fight for the job and land rights of people.

"I thank my colleagues who stand with me and are the base of my new party which, God willing, will be announced within the next 10 days," Azad said.

Azad reaches Kashmir Valley

After completing the first phase of his public outreach programme, Ghulam Nabi Azad on Sunday reached Kashmir Valley and his first programme was organized in north Kashmir's Baramulla district. He addressed his maiden public rally in Kashmir Valley at Baramulla after resigning from Congress on August 26.

Azad rally
Azad twitter

During the last four days, Azad addressed a series of public meetings in the Doda and Kishtwar districts to mobilize his supporters at the grassroots level. Azad addresses over a dozen public meetings in Doda and Kishtwar before reaching Kashmir Valley.

At Kishtwar Azad alleged that thousands of local educated, skilled and semi-skilled youth are being ignored for various jobs in local hydel power projects. He announced that he will strongly take up this issue with Government including Prime Minister shortly.

Azad said he was pained to know that thousands of local youth are being ignored for jobs in the new hydel projects and many outsiders are being given preference. "Even the small and big contracts are being accorded to the outsiders and hundreds of labourers in these power projects have been brought from outside UT of J&K", he said.

"It is unfortunate that after the abrogation of Article 370 and conversion of this historic State into two Union Territories, things have worsened for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Unemployment has touched new heights, and development works have been stalled. Locals are being ignored in every aspect", he added.