Fight to restore J&K status will continue, even if lives are lost: Azad

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Srinagar: Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Saturday said the struggle for the restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir will continue till the people of the region get their identity back. Azad said, even if ‘we have to sacrifice our lives for this.’

‘Jammu and Kashmir was divided’

Addressing a meeting of party workers in the Devsar area of ​​South Kashmir’s Kulgam district, Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the Center has decided to repeal the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate the erstwhile state into union territories. The verdict of August 5, 2019, was something that no one could have imagined. Azad said, ‘On August 5, 2019, lightning struck Jammu and Kashmir. Something happened that no one would have thought or guessed about. Not only the people of Kashmir or Jammu or Ladakh, but no citizen of India would have thought that Jammu and Kashmir would be divided. It will be divided into two parts and two union territories will be formed.

‘Vidhan Sabha elections to be held soon after winter’

The former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir said that usually a union territory is made a state, but perhaps for the first time, a state was made into a union territory. He said, ‘Our struggle will continue till the statehood which was there till August 4, 2019, is restored. Even if we have to sacrifice our lives because that was our identity. The Congress leader said that the Center should complete the delimitation process in Jammu and Kashmir by February and conduct assembly elections immediately after winter. Azad also said that it is not possible to hold elections in the next four months of winter.

‘2019 status should be restored’

Azad said, “All of us had said in the all-party meeting (convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June) that statehood should be restored first and then there should be delimitation. But, the government did not accept it. So, they should finish the delimitation process by February and after the winter is over, elections should be held in April. The senior Congress leader said that the priority is not who becomes the chief minister, but it is how to restore the status quo in Jammu and Kashmir on August 4, 2019.

‘BJP leaders also want statehood’

Azad said the demand for restoration of statehood was not Kashmir-centric. “There is no fight over the status of the state. Hindu brothers in Jammu, Sikhs, Muslims and even Pandits in Kashmir want statehood. No one should think that only Kashmiris want statehood, I have said repeatedly and even in all-party meetings that BJP leaders also want statehood.

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