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Amid speculations and several rallies, Congress veteran leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that he has no intention to float a new party in Jammu and Kashmir but cannot predict the future in politics on Saturday.

Azad has been addressing rallies across J&K which fuelled speculation that he is forming a new party. Meanwhile, adding to the buzz, 20 of Azad’s loyalists have resigned from Congress posts. Rallies are meant to revive political activities that had stopped after Jammu and Kashmir was stripped of its statehood and special status, he told NDTV.

While saying that he is not floating his own party, he said , “No one can say what will happen next in politics, like no one knows when he will die. In politics, no one can predict what will happen next, but I have no intention to form a party.”

Stating how there is no place for criticism today, Azad told the news channel that, “No one is challenging the leadership. Perhaps, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Ji had given me too much freedom to question when things were going wrong. They would never mind criticism. They would not see it as offensive. Today the leadership sees it as offensive.” He added said Indira Gandhi told him “keep it up” when he refused to appoint two people she recommended as general secretaries in the Youth Congress.

“When Rajiv ji joined politics, Indira Gandhi called both of us and told Rajiv ji that Ghulam Nabi can even say no to me, but that NO doesn’t mean disobeying or disrespect, that’s for the good of the party. Today, No one is ready to listen to that no. For saying no you become nobody today,” he told NDTV.

Also Read: It’s Now Time to Move Beyond Articles 370 and 35A, Says Ghulam Nabi Azad

He also emphasized how he wanted to quit politics, but decided to continue for “lakhs of supporters”. During the series of public meetings in J&k, Azad said he only wants to revive political activities. Earlier, addressing a rally, he had said that the real ‘Jehad’ is to fight against poverty and unemployment, rather than against any leader, party or religion. He reiterated the demand for restoration of the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir before assembly elections, saying the bureaucracy is no match to popular rule in fulfilling the aspirations of the people.

He also added that the people of the country are suffering due to the price hike of essential commodities and the Congress has been fighting over it within and outside parliament. Jehad (holy war) is not fighting against another religion. The real ‘Jehad’ is to wipe out poverty and unemployment which is our biggest enemy, rather than any leader or party, Azad said.

The real ‘Jehad’ is to fight against poverty and unemployment, rather than against any leader, party or religion, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Saturday. Addressing a public rally here, he reiterated the demand for restoration of statehood of Jammu and Kashmir before assembly elections, saying the bureaucracy is no match to popular rule in fulfilling the aspirations of the people.

He said the people of the country are suffering due to the price hike of essential commodities and the Congress has been fighting over it within and outside parliament. Jehad (holy war) is not fighting against another religion. The real ‘Jehad’ is to wipe out poverty and unemployment which is our biggest enemy, rather than any leader or party, Azad said.

(With PTI inputs)

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