There is no question of forging alliance with PDP, says Congressman Azad

Leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad on Sunday dispelled rumors about possible tie-ups with PDP and BJP in the future, reported PTI.

“There is no question, for now or in the future, of forging an alliance with the PDP,” he said, denying having met any PDP leader.

Earlier, when former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had arrived in Delhi on Friday night, rumors had spread that there were talks of a new alliance.

The leader has called for a meeting in Kashmir today for discussing future strategies of Congress in the state followed by a two day conclave in Srinagar which will be attended by party leaders from all the three regions — Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir.

Earlier, a sedition complaint had been filed against senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad  and Saifuddin Soz in a Delhi court for their remarks ‘against the Indian Army’.

The case has been filed against Azad under sections 124 (sedition), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 505 (1) (spreading rumour about army/navy/air force official which is likely to cause mutiny) of the IPC by an advocate, Shashi Bhushan on the grounds that the remarks were ‘painting the Army as killers of innocents which was nothing less than waging war against the country’.

The complaint alleged that the remarks was made in a TV interview on June 22 when Azad said, “Indian Army in Jammu and Kashmir was killing more civilians than militants during military operations in the state.”

The complaint accused Azad of ‘spreading hatred and trying to malign the country’s image’. Both leaders have come under heavy fire since then.

Soz, who was a Union minister in the first Congress-led UPA government, had reportedly expanded on this topic in his soon-to-be-released book, ‘Kashmir: Glimpses of History and the Story of Struggle’, which was due to be released next week.

In his book, Soz reportedly also went on to criticise how successive Indian governments in New Delhi had committed ‘blunders’ which have resulted in alienating Kashmir from India.

Soz had stoked a controversy by claiming that people of Kashmir prefer “independence” and pitched for dialogue between the central government and the Hurriyat Conference. He also made a startling claim that successive central governments since 1953 has alienated Kashmiris from India’s heartland and committed “blunders”.

Notably, during this period Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi were the Prime Ministers. “And, if the Union of India has to talk to the people of Kashmir, it will have to decide the grouping with which it will initiate the dialogue. In my opinion, it is the political conglomerate called the Hurriyat. Then, the ball will certainly move to what is broadly known as the ‘mainstream’,” Soz writes in a book published by Rupa Publications.

According to a report in the Indian Express, Soz wrote in his book that governments since 1953 have failed to provide a concrete solution to the Kashmir issue.

In 2008, Soz was named Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee chief. A former National Conference leader, he joined the Congress in 1999 after he voted against the motion of confidence moved by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the Lok Sabha on April 17, 1999.

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