Religious politics has deeply harmed India: Azad

JAMMU — Democratic Azad Party chairman Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday said politics based on religion has ”deeply harmed” the country and asked the voters to check the track record of every candidate and his party before casting their ballots to defeat the ”divisive” elements.

He termed the prevailing trend of infusing religious divide for political gains by some parties as “unfortunate” and challenged them to debate with him on developmental issues.

”Religious politics has deeply harmed our country and people have suffered with no progressive roadmap available ahead,” Azad said addressing a public meeting at Kastigarh in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Asking the people to reject divisive politics, he said they should vote for candidates and parties on the basis of development.

”They (voters) must check the track record of every candidate and his party before casting the ballot. That is the only way to defeat the divisive designs,” he said, adding that in the contemporary world, religious politics has no space.

Without identifying any political party, the Democratic Azad Party (DAP) leader said attempts are also being made in Jammu and Kashmir to divide the people on religious lines.

“It is unfortunate some political parties are trying to divide the people on religious grounds to secure their political interests. Instead they shall focus on developmental issues, and create job avenues for our youth. But they know they cannot deliver so they adopt the communal strategy to gain power,” he said.

Azad reminded the people of his tenure as the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir for two-and-a-half years and termed it ”golden developmental era” of the erstwhile state.

“The Chenab Valley was overlooked by successive regimes and no real development had taken place. When I became the chief minister, I built roads, schools, and hospitals for the Chenab Valley. Even a university was established when even schools were unavailable for basic education in this landlocked region,” he said.

“The people of Jammu and Kashmir and Chenab Valley in particular must reject the divisive agenda and join the DAP to ensure peace, harmony and development of the Union territory,” he added.

The Chenab Valley is a river valley formed by the Chenab River. The term is also used collectively for Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban districts of the Jammu Division. — (PTI)