"I am Azad, will continue to do so:" Ghulam Nabi Azad takes dig at Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti

ANANTNAG: Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) chief Ghulam Nabi Azad took a dig at former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti and said that he has never been part of any BJP government while both of them had been allies of the BJP.

He was reacting to reports which said that National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah termed Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party led by Altaf Bukhari and his party as "anti-Muslim."

"Omar Abdullah was a minister under the BJP govt. Peoples Democratic Party Chief Mehbooba Mufti was the Chief Minister during BJP's tenure. I respect both of them. I was never an MP, CM or Union Minister during the tenure of the BJP... Ghulam Nabi Azad was 'Azad', is 'Azad' and will continue to be so," the former Chief Minister told reporters.

"So people will have to decide who has remained in the BJP and who is A, B and C team," he said.

Earlier, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah claimed that Mehbooba Mufti-led People's Democratic Party (PDP) has joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as its 'C team'.

Abdullah's statement comes after BJP leader Mushtaq Bukhari notably urged members of the Pahari community to vote for Mehbooba Mufti in the ongoing Lok Sabha election.

Referring to this, the NC leader said, "If we have to defeat the BJP here, and the powers spreading poison in the whole country, then people should look at INDIA alliance leaders on all five seats of J&K. All others are connected to the BJP in some way. Be it the 'A' or 'B' team that meets Tarun Chugh sahib or PDP. I am assuming that now Mehbooba Mufti will put pressure on the BJP to get Mushtaq Bukhari's statement changed. PDP has joined BJP as its 'C' team."

Meanwhile PDP President and Lok Sabha candidate from Anantnag-Rajouri seat Mehbooba Mufti said, "...NDA is nervous and INDIA alliance is doing very good work. Congress gave a pro-people manifesto. It is the best manifesto by Congress in 70 years and due to that the BJP leaders are giving Hindu-Muslim statements..."

DPAP announced earlier in the month that Azad will not contest the Lok Sabha elections from Anantnag-Rajouri seat in Jammu and Kashmir. The party had earlier announced that he will contest from the seat.

Polling in Udhampur was held on April 19 (Phase 1), while Jammu, Anantnag-Rajouri, Srinagar, and Baramulla will poll on April 26, May 7, May 13, and May 20 respectively.

In 2019, polling for the Lok Sabha was held for six seats in Jammu and Kashmir. However, following the abrogation of Article 370, which resulted in the split of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state into two Union Territories--Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, there is no longer a separate Lok Sabha constituency for Ladakh.

In the 2019 elections, the BJP won three seats while the National Conference won the remaining three. The counting of votes will be held on June 4.


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