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Thursday, June 30, 2022

Kashmiris will continue to lose jobs to non-locals till Article 370 is restored: Azad tells Poonch rally

Apprehending loss of “jobs and land” to non-locals till the Supreme Court rules in a petition challenging the abrogation of Article 370, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Wednesday asked the government to bring a bill in Parliament and restore Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood.

Without naming National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah who recently criticized the Congress’ silence on Article 370, Azad said although the case is before the Supreme Court, he had opposed the move as “unconstitutional” in Parliament several times as the leader of the opposition.

He asked all parties to unite and put pressure on the government to announce the much-delayed assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir within a week after the restoration of statehood.

“Chief ministership for me is meaningless at this moment when we have the biggest issue of safeguarding our land and jobs. The case with regard to Article 370 is pending before the Supreme Court and nobody knows when its judgment will come but till then we cannot wait and see our jobs and land go to people not from Jammu and Kashmir,” Azad said, addressing a party convention in the border district of Poonch.

Azad said elections can happen immediately after the winter ends as the security situation has improved.

Besides the apex court, only the BJP-led government can reverse its decision.

“I do not see it good to make any false promises to the people. We cannot promise that we will form the next government at the Centre with 300 MPs and will do it (revoke the August 5, 2019 decision),” the veteran Congress leader said.

All opposition parties need to stand and press for elections soon after the end of the winter as a popular government alone can address the issues being faced by the people of Jammu and Kashmir, he added.

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