The relations between the ruling coalition partners in Jammu and Kashmir have hit an all-time low with the Congress accusing the National Conference (NC) and chief minister Omar Abdullah of having a “hidden agenda” to weaken the party in the state.
The NC’s decisions to induct a Congress leader from Ganderbal, the CM’s assembly constituency, into the party fold and nominate four members to the Kargil Autonomous Hill Development Council (KAHDC) before the semi-autonomous body was constituted have caused much heartburn in the Congress camp.
The state unit even issued a statement, calling the decision “regrettable”. “The NC has chosen to play foul against Congress,” it said.
The back-to-back moves have snowballed into major controversies and even cast a shadow on the future of the alliance at a time when Abdullah is keen for a pre-poll tie up for the coming Lok Sabha and assembly elections.
“It’s a serious issue. The NC has no regards for coalition dharma… The act is purely intentional and deliberate,” senior leader Abdul Ghani Vakil said. “The chief minister and his party have a hidden agenda to weaken the Congress party in the state.”
State Congress leaders have urged the party high command to immediately snap ties with the NC as remaining in the alliance would prove “detrimental” for their party.
In their closed-door meeting with party general secretary in-charge of J&K affairs Ambika Soni in Jammu recently had advocated a “go it alone” policy in the coming polls.
The leaders were of the opinion that the Congress prospects in the state would be hit if it goes to the polls in alliance with the NC. “The anti-incumbency against NC is increasing by the day. NC should be thankful to the Congress high command for Omar Abdullah continues to be the chief minister despite frequently deceiving us,” Vakil said.
The relations between the two parties had earlier soured when the Congress prevailed upon the NC leadership to seek the resignation of its minister Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo over his alleged role in last month’s communal clashes in Kishtwar.
However, state Congress chief Saifuddin Soz hoped that all contentious issues would be resoled in the next coordination committee meeting.