"Article 370 is an issue used for garnering votes. They used other issues for Lok Sabha polls, now they are using Article 370 with an eye on votes from Jammu region," senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters. (JPN/Agencies)
Article 370 gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir
Azad along with AICC General Secretary Ambika Soni is in Srinagar to hold consultation with Congress leaders and workers to review the party's functioning ahead of the Assembly polls to be held later this year.
Azad appealed to BJP leaders to exercise caution while making statements, saying Jammu and Kashmir is a "very sensitive state".
"It would take them one to two years to understand Kashmir and its dynamics. It is not enough to go through the history of Kashmir or the government files about the state. The sentiment of the people will have to be understood," the Congress leader said.
On pre-poll alliance by Congress for Assembly elections, Azad said that the decision will be taken by the high command.
"I cannot say with whom we will ally. Like National Conference has said that the party will decide, Congress will also decide, the workers will decide and the final decision will be taken by the Congress high command," Azad told reporters.
Azad, who met opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed a few days back, said he did not discuss anything about any future alliance with him.
"Of course, we did discuss politics, but we did not talk about any alliance for the Assembly elections," he said.
Congress and National Conference have been ruling Jammu and Kashmir in a coalition for nearly six years.
Azad said that nothing much should be read into the meeting with Sayeed as it was not unusual for leaders from opposition parties to socialize with each other.
"It is not right to say that we should not meet. Meeting the opposition seems a new thing in Kashmir as the politics here is cut-throat," he added.
Azad said meetings between rival political leaders should not be frowned upon as they have to work together.
"Article 370 is an issue used for garnering votes. They used other issues for Lok Sabha polls, now they are using Article 370 with an eye on votes from Jammu region," senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters.