Former senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is set to launch his own political outfit, on Sunday said Article 370 of the constitution, which granted greater autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir and was revoked two years ago, can’t be restored.
“Article 370 can’t be restored. 370 restoration needs a two-thirds majority in parliament. I will not allow parties to exploit people in the name of 370. I will not mislead people in the name of 370. It cannot come back,” he said in a fiery speech at a rally in Baramulla.
“The political exploitation has killed one lakh people in Kashmir and orphaned five lakh children. I will not seek votes on falsehood and exploitation. I will speak only what’s achievable even if it hurts me elections,” he said, targeting local parties.
“We will announce a new party in 10 days. Give me support for restoration of statehood, protection of jobs and land for local residents of Jammu and Kashmir,” Mr Azad said, announcing the platform that he wants to float his party on.
Mr Azad’s stance is at odds with most regional parties in Jammu and Kashmir, including his former party Congress, which have signed a pact to campaign for the restoration of Article 370 – which granted special powers to the state.