The Congress is caught in a bind over the situation in Kashmir. The party has maintained it is behind Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, but it also wants him to deal with the situation “firmly” and focus all resources on ensuring a peaceful Amarnath yatra, which began on Wednesday.
The party also sought to dispel the impression that it was silent on Kashmir and “looking elsewhere for solutions”.
“Whatever we have to do for restoration of peace, we are doing that quietly with the chief minister,” a senior Congress functionary said.
The party also does not favour a change of guard in the state. “There is no question of any change. Omar is the best bet in the state. We don’t want to target Omar or encourage talks of change there. Besides, that is no alternative to him,” the party functionary said.
“We can’t say whether Omar has delivered or not. It’s been only a year moreover Jammu and Kashmir is a difficult state to rule.”
However, party managers are also upset with Omar’s “style of functioning” and want him to cut down on his “frequent holiday trips” to Delhi. His family stays in Delhi. They also want Omar to follow the “proper channel” and not bypass the “chain of command” while approaching the Centre or the party on any issue.
On its part, the Congress does not want to disturb the present dispensation as the party in Jammu and Kashmir is clearly divided into two groups – one owing allegiance to state unit chief Saifuddin Soz and the other to Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.