Ghulam Nabi Azad
Ghulam Nabi Azad addressing a rally at DodaDPAP office

Ending all suspense, the founder of the Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) Ghulam Nabi Azad announced not to contest the election on the Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat.

After announcing his withdrawal from the electoral battle, Azad announced Mohammad Salim Parray as the party's candidate for this prestigious Parliamentary seat.
It means that Ghulam Nabi Azad is not contesting the Lok Sabha elections from any seat of Jammu and Kashmir.

Ghulam Nabi Azad may have tried to save himself from future embarrassment by deciding not to contest elections from Anantnag, but it has become clear that he could not muster the guts to face leaders like Mehbooba Mufti of the Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) and Mian Altaf of the National Conference.

Although Azad had won the assembly election from the Bhaderwah assembly segment of the Doda district, he never won the Lok Sabha election from his home state of Jammu and Kashmir.

In 2014 Ghulam Nabi Azad contested the Parliament election from the Udhampur-Doda seat but lost to BJP candidate Dr. Jitendra Singh, who was inexperienced in politics at that time. Singh had defeated Azad by a margin of over 60,000 votes at that time.

Ghulam Nabi Azad
Ghulam Nabi Azad addressing a public meeting at Dooru in South KashmirDPAP office

Azad's image as a political stalwart diminished within two years.

In the present Indian political scenario, hardly any other leader's image has been destroyed as quickly as that of Ghulam Nabi Azad in front of the common people.

Azad, who was once known as a big national leader along with the Muslim community across the country, is today limited to two to three tehsils and has created such a new identity for himself that it is clear that he playing the politics of dividing Muslim votes only to benefit the BJP.

Because of his politics, Azad today is the target of almost all the political parties of Jammu and Kashmir. Even the Abdullah family, who were once very close to Azad, have opened a front against him and are calling Azad and his party the 'B' team of the BJP.

Recently Congress candidate from the Udhampur-Doda seat Choudhary Lal Singh challenged Azad to join the electoral battle from his home constituency.

"If Azad is so serious about contesting elections, why he is shying away from joining the electoral battle on his home turf", Lal Singh asked and alleged that Azad fielded a candidate only to help BJP in the elections.

"The strategy of Azad is not to seriously contest elections but only cut anti-BJP votes to help the Saffron Party", the Congress candidate said and exuded confidence that people will give a befitting reply to those who are brazenly helping the BJP.

Azad surprised his own party by refusing to contest the election

As expected, Ghulam Nabi Azad has finally refused to contest the Lok Sabha elections even though the senior vice president of his party Taj Mohiuddin had confidently claimed that Ghulam Nabi Azad would contest from the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat.

Ghulam Nabi Azad surprised everyone by saying that he had not made up his mind about contesting the elections from Anantnag. But Azad's statement was refuted by his party's spokesperson saying that the media has misrepresented Azad's statement and Azad will contest the elections from Anantnag on behalf of the party.

But on Wednesday, April 17, Azad's party Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP), removing all doubts, declared Mohammad Salim Parray as its candidate from Anantnag.