Political party

Did not consult any political party before forming the DAP: Azad

Jammu- Claiming that he had not consulted any political party before launching his Democratic Azad Party (DAP), Jammu and Kashmir’s former chief minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad, said on Monday that he did not consider the leaders other parties as his enemies and also respected every politician and every religion.

Azad said he told his party colleagues to stick to their ideology and principles and not to use abusive language against others.

Azad (73) ended his five-decade association with the Congress last month to launch the DAP with the backing of more than two dozen former ministers and lawmakers in Jammu and Kashmir from the big old party, including former Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand.

“A lot of people make outlandish claims that we have ties to this or that party. I want to make it clear that we have only one deal with our hearts and minds besides the people of Jammu and Kashmir and no one else.

“We had not consulted any other party before forming our party. Only our colleagues here and in Kashmir were on board. No regional or national political party knew about it – neither the formation of the new party nor its name,” Azad told reporters here.

The former Union Minister said that the DAP had its own ideology, approach and thought based on the Gandhian philosophy which led to the independence of the country.

Expressing his dissatisfaction with the leveling of allegations and counter-allegations, he said: “We are a cultured society and such things should not exist.

“We respect all religions and all political parties. I met with my colleagues throughout Sunday, both seniors and youth, and asked them not to quarrel or speak against anyone.

“You have to draw a line and say that political parties and enmity are two different things. The other parties are our political competitors like students in a classroom. Some get high or low marks and some fail exams, but they still remain students and do not become enemies,” Azad added.

He said people are the real fountains of power as they decide the fate of all political leaders.

“Let everyone talk about their party, their ideology, their projects and their manifestos. The people are the masters, who will see and decide the fate of the candidates,” he said.

The veteran politician said Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians are like the four chambers of his heart, which depend on each other and there is no room for hatred.

When asked if he planned to contest the upcoming Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections, Azad said that would only be considered after the polls were announced.

However, he said, “the priority is to register our party but at the same time we will continue our activities because the polls can be declared at any time.”

He also said the DAP would try to give 50% of the ballots to youth and women.

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