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Ghulam Ali Azad names his political outfit Democratic Azad Party

The veteran leader also unveiled the party flag that consists of three vertical strips of mustard, white and deep blue colours at a press conference in Jammu.

Statesman News Service | Jammu |

Democratic Azad Party: A month after breaking away from the Congress, veteran leader from Jammu & Kashmir and former leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, on Monday, named the new political outfit he floated as Democratic Azad Party (DAP).

Ghulam Nabi Azad announced the name of the party at a press conference in Jammu. He also unveiled the party flag that consists of three vertical strips of mustard, white and deep blue colours.

Addressing the press conference, the former Congress leader said that his party will be secular, democratic and independent from any influence.

Earlier, in his first public meeting in Jammu after quitting Congress, the former chief minister of the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir had announced to launch his own political party that will focus on the restoration of full statehood to Jammu and Kashmir.

Azad, who arrived here from Delhi on Sunday, said that he chose the party’s name from about 1,500 suggestions that he had received from across the country. Inspired by the ideology of India’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, who believed that Hindustani, a mixture of Hindi and Urdu that people easily understood, he has decided to name the party as Democratic Azad Party.

Defining the three colours in his party’s flag, Azad said, “Mustard colour indicates creativity and unity in diversity, white indicates peace and the deep blue indicates freedom, open space, imagination and limits from depth of the sea to the height of the sky.”

Denying that he had launched the DAP under the influence of any political party, Azad said his party will have no competition with other national or regional parties. “We don’t consider any party as our enemy,” he asserted, adding, “We respect all religions.”

He said functioning in J&K is difficult because of diversity in the two main regions and a number of sub-regions. He did not want to name his party during the Sharadhs as the period is considered inauspicious and has done this on the auspicious first Navratra that began today.

Azad announced 50 percent reservation for women and youth in the allotment of party tickets during the elections. Youth and experienced elders have to co-exist for a smooth functioning of the party.

Power in the new party will flow from bottom to top as the outfit will not be autocratic in its functioning. Activities of the party will begin soon as assembly elections are expected anytime.

Azad said that the economy of Jammu and Kashmir has been badly hit following abrogation of Article 370. Traders in Jammu are facing losses as the bi-annual durbar move of employees between Jammu and Srinagar has been halted. Similarly, those involved in horticulture, handicrafts and tourism were hit in the Kashmir Valley although tourism picked up this season.

Azad clarified that he never stated that the Article 370 cannot be restored to J&K. What I meant was that it can either be restored by Prime Minister Narendra Modi whose BJP has huge strength in Parliament or by the Supreme Court before which a bunch of petitions against abrogation of the special status are pending.

He appreciated the last ruler of J&K, Maharaja Hari Singh, who had notified the hereditary state subject law and jobs exclusively for domiciles of the state.