Frequent visits of Union Health and Family welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad to the state of Jammu and Kashmir is giving jitters to his political opponents in the state.
To some of his detractors Azad’s presence in the state is a clear indication that he is once again eying bigger role in the state politics and to others it is a clear indication that no state govt can take shape without the consent and wishes of Ghulam Nabi Azad in 2014.
Before leaving for New Delhi after resigning from the post in July 2008 Azad had said he will not return to the state politics. Few months ago Azad had reiterated his stand by claiming that he is not keen on becoming Chief Minister of J&K.
On the other hand his loyalists in the state are sparing not a single opportunity to project his candidature for the’ hot seat’. Even the senior congress ministers have made public their desire to see him back in the chair. Others who enjoy close proximity with him are doing so only to check advances made by the rival faction to checkmate his shrewd moves.
There is no dearth of leaders in the state unit of the party who willingly sing praises in his name and still give him all the credit for initiating key infrastructure projects in the state and term his tenure as Chief Minister the golden period in the recent history of state politics.
On Thursday when Azad kick started his three day long visit to the state and visited remote areas in Banihal he once again managed to attract large crowds and cheered them with his crisp speeches. As Union Health Minister he is losing no opportunity to extend them all possible help in creating infrastructure in the health sector and connecting with the masses.
Without giving credit to the state Chief Minister Azad went on to appreciate the role of the Union govt in providing liberal funding to the state. He said it is due to liberal funding by the Centre, a “revolution of progress and prosperity” has been recorded in J&K during the last five years of the coalition.
Appreciating the efforts of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, the Health and Family Welfare Minister said the State Government reached several milestones in upgrading vital sectors like education, health, road connectivity and communication facilities in both urban as well as rural and remote areas of the State.
Azad was addressing public meetings at Ukhraland Khari areas of Banihal constituency in Ramban district.
He said that during last two decades of turmoil, the Centre launched several significant schemes in the state for its overall development and to provide succor and relief to people.
Azad said that far flung districts of the State which include Ramban, Kishtwar and Doda are being given special attention in respect of development and welfare by the Centre. Now it remains to be seen whether Azad will return to the state politics or will continue to pull the strings of power from a safe distance.