J&K was better off with CMs, says Azad

TNN Bureau. Updated: 10/25/2021 10:36:43 AM Front Page

Jammu: Senior Congress leader and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Sunday the erstwhile state was a great loser as it got divided into parts and its Assembly dissolved. He further said J&K was better off when governed by chief ministers before being turned into a Union territory.
Azad’s comments came hours after Union home minister Amit Shah spoke about how Jammu & Kashmir has been developed over the years under the Narendra Modi government and how changes were visible since the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution that granted special status to the now-divided Union territory.
“So, we are a great loser. We are a great loser after the state has been divided into two. We have been a great loser ever since the Assembly has been dissolved,” the former Rajya Sabha MP was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
“We were told the scenario in J&K will change after the abrogation of Article 370. Growth, hospitals, unemployment will be taken care of. But that has not happened at all. As a matter of fact, we were far better when it was being ruled by various CMs,” Azad said.
Addressing a rally earlier in the day, Shah had hit out former chief ministers for not doing enough for the erstwhile state.
Speaking about delimitation and statehood, “They would like to have delimitation first. I think they would like to have the election first and then statehood. Our demand still today is that first statehood should be granted and that should be followed by elections,” the former chief minister said.
“I had requested both PM (Narendra Modi) and HM (Shah) that we're thankful to them that statehood is being granted and the state should not have been divided into two. But having been divided, now you've agreed to give statehood, but don't make the mistake of doing delimitation first and then going ahead with statehood.”
He said he had demanded the same even during the meeting of political leaders from Kashmir with the PM at his residence. “Other parties also demanded. The home minister had assured us that statehood will be granted and delimitation commission will give a report,” Azad said.


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