SRINAGAR: Congress leader Mohammad Amin Bhat on Sunday retracted his earlier statement asking the public to “shoot” him if Congress manages to win a single seat in the next Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections.
Clarifying his statement, the former MLA Bhat said that he had said that without Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress will not form the government in the upcoming election in J-K.
The former MLA Bhat said, “I didn’t say that. During a meeting with the party in-charge of Jammu and Kashmir Rajni Patel I had said that if Ghulam Nabi Azad is not declared the CM candidate or he is not made the party president, then Congress is zero here.”
He further said that Azad is loved by Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs as well because he had always stood for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“He took the issue of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to the Parliament when the Centre was abrogating Article 370. Whenever the people of Jammu and Kashmir are in a problem he stood for them. He worked for the people. Tulip Garden, medical colleges, Haz House and many other things are built because of Ghulam Nabi Azad. People from across the Union Territory love him,” said Bhat.
“I had said that if Gulam Nabi Azad is not nominated as CM candidate or overall in-charge then Congress will not get a single seat in coming elections. I will shave my beards if Congress manages to win a single seat in the next elections,” he added.
He further urged party interim president Sonia Gandhi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to declare Ghulam Nabi Azad as a chief ministerial candidate.
“If the election is to be held in October, then I appeal to Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to declare Ghulam Nabi Azad as chief ministerial candidate or in-charge of Jammu and Kashmir as soon as possible,” the Congress leader said.
Earlier in a video, the former Congress MLA was seen saying to “shoot” him if Congress manages to win a single seat in the next Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections.
While speaking to Congress leaders in the Valley, including the party in-charge of Jammu and Kashmir Rajni Patel, former MLA Mohammad Amin Bhat said, “If Congress wins even a single seat in Jammu and Kashmir, shoot me at Lal Chowk.”
Ghulam Nabi Azad has served as the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir from November 2005 to July 2008. He is one of the senior-most leaders of Congress in the Valley.
Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir Delimitation Commission constituted in March 2020, finalised the final delimitation order for Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday which has paved the way for assembly polls in the Union Territory. The delimitation order will come into effect from the date notified by the central government.
As per the final Delimitation Order, out of the 90 assembly constituencies, 43 will be part of the Jammu region and 47 of the Kashmir region. Nine seats have been reserved for the Scheduled Tribes (STs) for the first time – six in the Jammu region and three in the Kashmir Valley.
Seven seats have been reserved for Scheduled Castes.
The Constitution of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state did not provide for the reservation of seats for the Scheduled Tribes in the legislative assembly.