DPAP names G M Saroori as its candidate for Udhampur-Jammu Lok Sabha seat

Budgam : The Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) headed by Ghulam Nabi Azad on Wednesday announced G M Saroori as its candidate for Udhampur-Jammu Lok Sabha seat in the upcoming general polls.

The announcement was made at a public rally addressed by Azad at Chrar-e-Shareef in Budgam district of central Kashmir.

“For Udhampur-Jammu, it is my intention and I will discuss it with others that G M Saroori will contest. He is the most senior leader and four-time MLA and vice chairperson of our party. I think I am active, but he is more active than me. He is the appropriate candidate. We have not yet taken a final decision, but we have zeroed in on the name,” Azad told reporters after the rally.

The DPAP also announced Saroori’s name in a statement and on the party’s X handle.

“DPAP chairman Ghulam Nabi Azad has announced G.M. Saroori as the candidate for Udhampur-Doda Parliamentary constituency in the Lok Sabha elections,” the party said.

Azad said the party has not taken a final decision on fielding candidates on other constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir.

To a question on why the party was not announcing the candidates, Azad said it will not make much difference even if the party makes the announcement at the eleventh hour.

“Some habits of the Congress party are still with me like announcing the candidature at the last moment. However, it will not make a much difference because I have been visiting every area. Even if the candidate comes at the eleventh hour, it will not make much of a difference,” Azad said.

“I have addressed around 650 public meetings in the last one-and-a-half years. So, I have created a level-playing field for my colleagues and some of them will contest,” he added.

Taking a dig at his former party, Azad said there is no work culture in the Congress.

“Every day some MLAs or MPs are leaving the party, which means the leadership has failed to provide leadership to its people. I parted ways and formed my own party and have tried to fill whatever deficiencies were there (in the Congress). There was no work culture and respect. They take the names of junior leaders first at any function and senior leaders at the last,” he said.

Asked about his earlier statement that his party would enact a law to safeguard land and job rights for the people of Jammu and Kashmir, the former chief minister said the assembly has the right to make such a law.

“We will do it if we come to power. It does not matter which name is given to it, what matters is that it is done,” he added.