You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Elections before J K statehood a mistake: Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad tells Centre

India Today logo India Today 24-10-2021 India Today Web Desk

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Sunday, October 24, urged the centre to first grant Jammu and Kashmir statehood and then conduct elections. "Don't make the mistake of carrying out delimitation first and then giving statehood," he said.

His comments came a day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah assured of delimitation in Jammu & Kashmir, followed by elections and restoration of statehood.

"When Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited political leaders from Kashmir to his residence, I demanded that we'd like to have statehood, followed by elections. Other parties also demanded. I told the PM and home minister that the state shouldn't have been divided into two in the first place. But don't make the mistake of carrying out delimitation first and then granting statehood," he said.

"Our demand remains that first statehood should be granted and that should be followed by elections," he said.

ALSO READ: Recent civilian killings in J&K part of 'conspiracy', Kashmiris not involved: Farooq Abdullah

He took a swipe at the BJP-led Centre, saying that Jammu & Kashmir was better off as a state with different chief ministers before the abrogation of Article 370.

He said that the state had lost a great lot since its division. The state of Jammu and Kashmir was split into two Union Territories — Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh — on October 31, 2019.

"We were told that the scene in Jammu & 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 off when it was being ruled by various chief ministers, Ghulam Nabi Azad said.

ALSO READ | G23 leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma hail Congress organisational election schedule

So, we are a great loser. We have been a great loser after the state's division into two parts. We have been a great loser ever since the Assembly was dissolved," he added.

National Conference chief and former Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, too, slammed the Centre for scrapping Article 370 on Sunday. He said, "The Centre has been dishonest with Jammu & Kashmir. It scrapped articles 370 and 35A and made the region a Union Territory." "If NC is brought to power, it will restore articles 370 and 35A," he added.

Watch Live TV in English

Watch Live TV in Hindi

More from India Today

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon