Statehood should be restored to J&K immediately: Azad

SRINAGAR — DPAP chairman Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday said that statehood should be restored to Jammu and Kashmir immediately after the assembly elections are held in the Union territory.

“The prime minister and the home minister have promised in the Parliament to restore the statehood to Jammu and Kashmir. We had insisted that it should be done before the assembly elections, but the government said they will do it after the assembly elections,” Azad said at a rally in Aishmuqam area of Anantnag district, 75 kms from here.

The former chief minister said that statehood should be restored immediately after the polls as the government has not specified the time frame for it.

“After the elections can be a long time later. But it should be done immediately,” he added.

On Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Kashmir later this week, Azad said that it was an overdue visit.

“The prime minister visits various parts of the country. His visit to Kashmir was overdue, he visited Jammu last week (month). I will request the PM to carry out the works which the local government cannot do. I would request that two thermal power projects — one each in Kashmir and Jammu regions — with a total generation capacity of 4,000 MW be set up to ensure there is no energy deficit in Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.

Azad said that electricity was the basic requirement for Modi’s favourite programme for startups.

“That is the only way to address unemployment in Jammu and Kashmir,” Azad said.

“Jammu and Kashmir has been ruled by the BJP for the last 10 years — for four years in coalition and then directly. In the past two years, I have visited vast areas of Jammu and Kashmir and found that one problem is common and that is electricity,” he added. — (PTI)