Jammu, Sep 6 (PTI) From aggrieved people seeking his intervention for redressal of their issues to political and social activists coming forward to extend their support, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is having a busy schedule in attending people visiting him here.
The 73-year-old leader, who quit the Congress last month and is slated to form his own national party in the coming days from Jammu and Kashmir, met dozens of delegations from different parts of the Jammu region since Monday.
"The delegations started arriving at Azad's Gandhi Nagar residence at around 8 am on Monday and the process continued till 9 pm, only to start again this (Tuesday) morning," Azad's close aide and former legislator Balwan Singh told PTI as Azad was busy interacting with a delegation of Yuva Rajput Sabha (YRS) led by its president Rajan Singh Happy.
The YRS, which has been on the roads for the past fortnight to press for their long pending demand for declaration of holiday on the birth anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh -- the last Dogra ruler of Jammu and Kashmir -- extended support to Azad.
"We are fed up with false promises and have decided to extend our support to Azad who has shown his mettle during his chief ministership and is capable of addressing all issues facing the people of the region," one of the members said.
Referring to the abrogation of Article 370 by the BJP-led government and bifurcation of the erstwhile state, Azad told the delegation that he has set an agenda for his new party which include restoration of full statehood and safeguards for land and jobs.
"Grave injustice has been done to Jammu and Kashmir by removing the special status, introduced by Maharaja to safeguard the interests of the people of both Kashmir and Jammu divisions. We have to join hands together to ensure restoration of our rights," he was heard saying to the delegation.
Addressing his first public meeting after returning from Delhi on Sunday, the veteran politician spelled out the agenda of his yet-to-be-named party and the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir's statehood, protection of land and job rights of its residents tops the list.
While Azad was busy meeting the YRS delegation, three large delegations including JKPCC employees association were waiting in the lawns for their turn to raise their grievances for his intervention.
"Every 15 minutes, a new delegation is meeting Azad to extend their support...We had delegations from Pir Panjal's Rajouri and Poonch and Chenab valley's Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban on Monday and various delegations from Kathua, Reasi and Samba districts since this morning," said Balwan Singh, who, along with former deputy chief minister Tara Chand, was present alongside Azad.
Azad, 73, ended his five-decade-long association with the Congress on August 26, terming the party "comprehensively destroyed". He also lashed out at Rahul Gandhi for "demolishing" the party's entire consultative mechanism.
Singh said the interactions will continue on Wednesday which will be followed by a three-day tour of Azad to Chenab valley region where he is scheduled to address public meetings at Bhalla-Bhaderwah on September 8, Drabshalla-Kishtwar on September 9 and Chatroo-Kishtwar on September 10.
He said almost all delegations extended their unconditional support to Azad and welcomed him back in Jammu and Kashmir.
"Not only former Congress workers, but people from other parties have also come in delegations to meet Azad," Singh said, claiming that "the wave is favouring Azad and you will see massive joinings in the coming weeks".