Former leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad today hit out at the Centre saying that the nation stands as a loser today due to the Modi government’s policy. He said that the Union Territory was in a far better state when it was being ruled by different chief ministers.
“We were told that scenario in Jammu and Kashmir will change after the abrogation of Article 370. Growth, hospitals, unemployment will be taken care of. But that has not happened at all. As a matter of fact, we were far better when it was being ruled by various chief ministers…..So, we are a great loser. We are a great loser after the state has been divided into two. We are a great loser ever since the Assembly has been dissolved,” said Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Azad said that the UT should be given statehood first and the delimitation process should happen after that and added that if it doesn’t happen this way, it will be a mistake.
“When the prime minister invited political leaders from Kashmir at his residence, I had demanded that we’d like to have statehood followed by elections. Other parties also demanded the same. The home minister assured us that statehood will be granted and the delimitation commission will give its report too…I had requested both the prime minister and the home minister that we’re thankful to them that statehood is being granted and the state shouldn’t have been divided into two UTs. But having been divided, now you’ve agreed to give statehood but don’t do the mistake of doing delimitation first and then giving statehood,” said Azad.
He said that the Congress party still wants that the UT should be given statehood first and then there should be an election. “I think Home Minister has repeated the same. They would like to have delimitation first – I think they would like to have election first and then statehood. Our demand still today is that first statehood should be granted and that should be followed by elections,” said Azad.
Azad, who is in Delhi at present, made the remarks in context with Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to the valley. Today was the second day of his visit.