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Require 300 MPs to restore Article 370, don’t see Congress there in 2024: Azad

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Wednesday declared his own party a write-off in the next Lok Sabha elections saying he does not see his party getting 300 seats in the 2024 national polls as things stand currently.

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Justifying his silence on Article 370 in public, Azad said only Supreme Court, where the matter is pending, and the Centre can restore it. Since the BJP-led central government has scrapped Article 370, it won’t restore it, he said at a rally in Poonch district’s Krishna Ghati area.

“And when will we have 300 MPs [to form government] on our own? So, I cannot promise to do it [restore Article 370] as we will have to get 300 MPs in 2024. Come what may. May God get us 300 [MPs], but at present I do not see it. That is why I will not make any false promise and avoid talking about Article 370,” he said.

Currently on a tour of Poonch and Rajouri, Azad had recently said in Kashmir that it was irrelevant to talk on Article 370, saying his main demands were restoration of statehood and holding of early assembly elections in J&K.

His statement drawn flak from NC vice-president Omar Abdullah, who said the senior Congress leader has accepted defeat even before the apex court took up hearing in the matter.

Reacting to the criticism, Azad said he has been opposed to the scrapping of Article 370 and bifurcation of the state into two UTs. “I alone had been speaking about this in Parliament during the past three years,” he said. “Our fight with the government is that when Article 370 was abrogated and state bifurcated, I said that the central government has a right to bring about change in the Constitution, but it shall come through the Assembly of J&K and not Parliament,’’ Azad said.

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