Jammu, Nov 30: Hours after National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah expressed disappointment over his remarks on Article 370, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday said they have "a united, single stand" on the August 5, 2019 decision of the central government which led to widespread public dissatisfaction in Jammu and Kashmir.
Azad said his speech in Kashmir Valley was misreported by some sections of the media and reiterated his demand for the restoration of statehood and an early assembly election next year.
Referring to the reported remarks of Azad that it is meaningless to speak about Article 370, Abdullah at a public meeting in Kishtwar district of Jammu province said, "I'm disappointed by his statement as he is a senior leader and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir."
"If Article 370 is our heritage, it is also your party's legacy more than ours. It was first prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru of the Congress who brought Article 370 and today Congressmen are not willing to safeguard their legacy. So, how can one expect it to save the people," he said.
The NC leader said, "Our case (for restoration of Article 370 before the Supreme Court) is very strong.... We expected support from opposition parties but they are silent. Our existence is linked to this article."
"If they are not ready to fight this battle, no issue, we will single-handedly take it to its logical conclusion. We will fight because this fight is linked to the future of the people of J&K, its jobs and land which is the first priority of the locals," he said, adding that their fight is based on justice and for restoration of the honour and dignity which was snatched from them unconstitutionally.
Without mentioning Abdullah, Azad in a Facebook post shared a video clip of his speech and said some sections of the media tried to misquote my speech in Kashmir."
"Let me make it clear we have a united, single stand on the August 5 decision. The decision has led to widespread public dissatisfaction in Jammu as well as Kashmir, he said.
Azad said the unemployment rate is sky-high in Jammu and Kashmir and tourism is also finished.
Instances of militancy (related incidents) have gone up. We want an end to the problems faced by the public. Statehood must be restored, an early election held next year and jobs/land act brought back, he said.