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Azad keeps options open
11/9/2022 11:05:18 PM

The statement of former J&K Chief Minister and President of Democratic Azad Party, Ghulam Nabi Azad, that the Congress only can challenge the Bharatiya Janata Party in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh has triggered speculations that there is a possibility about Azad’s “Ghar Wapsi.”
Last week Azad had stunned everyone by stating, “Although I have separated from Congress, I wasn’t against their policy of secularism. It was only due to the party’s system getting weakened. I would still want Congress to perform well in Gujarat and HP Assembly polls. AAP isn’t capable to do so.”
Azad regaining his lost love for the Congress Party, which he left after five decades earlier this year, is an indication that the veteran leader hasn’t burnt all the bridges and him returning to the Congress could still be an option.
According to media reports some senior Congress leaders are trying to build an environment which could bring Azad back into the party fold.
Azad batting for the Congress ahead of assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh is an indication that he wants his parent party to do well and regain the ground which it has lost during all these years. The veteran Congress leader at the time of quitting the party had accused the leadership of ruining the system of the “grand old party” and had warned that if the system is not revamped the party could become history.
After Azad left the Congress, the party held the elections for the post of the party president and Malikarjuna Kharge was elected as the new chief of the All India Congress Committee. Azad has spent all his life in the Congress Party and many of his friends do want him back. Azad by wishing well to his parent party before the assembly polls in two states has hinted that he still continues to be a Congressman.
The Congress high command is aware of the fact that Azad’s departure has created a void in the party, especially in Jammu and Kashmir. The party leadership knows very well that without Azad in J&K the party is all set to face an uphill task as the veteran leader had always played a pivotal role in the victory of the Congress Party in J&K.
If Azad decides to return to the Congress, there is a chance of the grand old party making some impact in the assembly elections in the Union Territory. But if he sticks to his DAP the Congress may find the going tough.
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