“First battle in Lok Sabha would be…” says Ghulam Nabi Aazad

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Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir): Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) chief Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is contesting from the Anantnag-Rajouri constituency, said that his first battle in the Lok Sabha would be to raise the issue of the reinstatement of the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir.

Speaking to ANI, the former Congress leader said, “Initially, I had no intentions to contest. But all our colleagues–be it from South Kashmir or Pir Panjal–said that if we have to contest to win, I will have to contest. There is something in my heart.”

He mentioned that assembly elections were held here 10 years ago in the Union Territory. Referring to the recent Supreme Court order directing the Election Commission of India to hold elections in Jammu and Kashmir by September 30, he said, “…No one knows what would happen by September…”

“The biggest issue is that we are without statehood. We are a Union Territory. I fought in the Rajya Sabha when Article 370 was abrogated. I want to fight in Lok Sabha too for statehood…We will demand full statehood where there would be a Governor…My first battle in Lok Sabha would be for the reinstatement of statehood…,” he said.
Notably, Ghulam Nabi Azad will be fighting the Lok Sabha polls for the first time after his loss in the 2014 General Elections from Udhampur seat.

In the 2014 elections, Jitendra Singh from the BJP gathered 46.8 per cent of votes on the Udhampur seat while Ghulam Nabi Azad who fought on the Congress ticket gathered 40.9 per cent. The Lok Sabha polls in the Union Territory will be held in the first five phases on April 19 (Udhampur), April 26 (Jammu), May 7 (Anantnag-Rajouri), May 13 (Srinagar) and May 20 (Baramulla).

The counting of votes will be taken up on June 4.

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