NEW DELHI: After Congress heavyweight Ghulam Nabi Azad left the party and formed his own state party, Democratic Azad Party, in Jammu and Kashmir, the party led by Azad, according to sources, is laser-focused on building its organisational setup. A party leader said, “We are expecting to grow and as the elections are announced and we come nearer to elections, leaders from Apni Party, People’s Conference party, and other parties may also come into our fold.”
Democratic Azad Party vice chairman G.M. Surroori told The Sunday Guardian, “State committees have been formed, we have to add a few more things to them and then it will be completely ready; alongside, we are formulating the structure of zonal committees as well, the work on that is also running at pace, and these zones are headed by zonal presidents. Then, there are provincial presidents, both from Jammu and Kashmir—they are also holding meetings currently to try to actively build the structure of the party in their respective provinces.” He further added, “District presidents are also working on their blocks and will soon try to form block structure, block president will work on preparing panchayat and ward structure. While it will take some time, we are trying to work hard to get all these things done as quickly as possible. The second thing is the registration of our party, and that will also happen soon hopefully.” There are several parties that have emerged after the abrogation of Article 370; Azad’s party is the latest to be led by any popular leader. Party leaders claim that Azad has been trying to get things right by meeting ground level workers and reviewing the electoral field to draw out a policy that would make it stand strong. A DAP leader said, “Azad sahab has now shifted his focus to Kashmir and he is assiduously working to get things straight there as the region holds respect for him. When he was the CM of the state he had worked hard and helped people and also given growth to the otherwise slow economy of Kashmir.”
Another leader said, “Azad sahab does not take review from associates, and he has his own way of dealing with political exigencies. Like, if there is anything happening somewhere, he will go there himself and take review from all the workers, and there is no middleman there. He assesses the pulse of his people and is able to make better decisions.” The party recently faced a setback which the party leaders deny would be of much consequence. Led by former J&K deputy chief minister and DAP vice-chairman Tara Chand and former J&K Congress unit chief Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed, 19 leaders announced their return to Congress on 6 January.
Before the exit, Chand, Manohar Lal and Balwan Singh were expelled by Azad for “anti-party activity”.