‘Modi hai to sab mumkin hai’. This statement perfectly sets in when the democratic situation of Jammu & Kashmir is concerned. The ruling party has been going round the clock to strengthen the democratic process in J&K. Earlier this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held an all-party meeting where he assured that an assembly election will be held in J&K soon after the delimitation process is completed. Now, Senior Congress party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has stepped in and wants the election to occur which is no lesser than supporting PM Modi’s agenda in Kashmir.
In a brief interaction with reporters in Jammu, Azad said that everyone should take part in the Jammu and Kashmir assembly election whenever it is held and the Congress should start preparing for it. Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir, served as the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha until 2021 February. He has served as the Parliamentary Affairs Minister of India in the government of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
As reported by TFI, ever since his Rajya Sabha term came to an end in February this year, Azad has been praising PM Modi in hushed tones. “I like lot of things about many leaders. I’m from village & feel proud… Even our PM hails from village & used to sell tea. We’re political rivals but I appreciate that he doesn’t hide his true self. Those who do, are living in bubble,” Ghulam Nabi Azad had said earlier this year.
Read more: Ghulam Nabi Azad could give Congress its second Pranab Mukherjee moment only this time it will be in J&K
On August 5, 2019, the Centre had abrogated Article 370 and 35-A of the Constitution which deals with the special status of the erstwhile stated of J&K.
In the aftermath of this abrogation, PDP president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti had announced that she will not contest elections until both the constitutions of India and the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir are made applicable to J&K, reported by The Indian Express.
“Personally, it (abrogation of Article 370 and 35-A of the Constitution) is a very emotional for me. I contested the first election taking oath under the constitutions of India and the state. I took both flags in my hands. Until both constitutions will not be (existing) together (in J&K), I have said I will not personally contest elections,” Mehbooba had said.
Additionally, Omar who is the vice president of the National Conference, said that he will not contest assembly elections till full statehood is restored.
However, Prime Minister Modi and the Home Minister Amit Shah has assured the political parties in the UT that statehood will be restored. Shah reiterated that statehood would be restored in J&K and said delimitation and peaceful elections were key milestones in the process.
Congress, adding to the row, also does not want to contest in the assembly election of Jammu & Kashmir. But the problem arises because of Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is the senior leader of Congress. Azad has given a green signal for the assembly elections through his statement and is supporting Modi’s agenda for the development and atmosphere of safety and security in the Union Territory. Congress cannot let go of Azad despite knowing that the leader is steadily batting from PM Modi’s corner. Doing so will ensure that the party has no stake in the ‘Kashmir conversation’.