Veteran leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday announced the name of his new party almost a month after his exit from the Congress. The new party will be called the ‘Azad Democratic Party’, he said at the event, stressing that the party will have “no age limit”. “Youth and veterans would coexist in the party,” he underlined. Azad ended his decades-long association with the Congress on 26 August.
Around 1500 names were sent to us for my new party, in Urdu and Sanskrit. A mixture of Hindi and Urdu is “Hindustani”. We wanted the name to be democratic, peaceful and independent,” Azad was quoted. “Our priority is to get the party registered. But since elections (in Jammu and Kashmir) can happen anytime, related developments will continue,” the former J&K chief said without divulging too many details.
Azad quit the grand old party in a storm last month just before it launched its mass outreach program – the Bharat Jodo Yatra – with a view to national elections in 2024. His party’s launch comes as his former party deals with a new war in Rajasthan, just a few weeks before the presidential election. As the leader of the “Group of 23”, or G-23, as it was commonly called, Azad was among the 23 senior party leaders who sought to restructure the Congress. After his departure, a large number of leaders left the grand old party. Last year, Amarinder Singh also quit the Congress after several confrontations with Navjot Singh Sidhu. He has now joined the BJP.