Despite upping its ante against J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah over the empowerment of panchayats, the Congress is in no mood to pull the plug on the National Conference-led coalition government in the state.
Sources in both Congress and NC ruled out any imminent threat to the Omar Abdullah government in the wake of a bitter war over the implementation of the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments — that empower panchayats — in J&K.
Leaders of two parties are not in favour of aggravating the matter further and want the coalition government to last its full six-year term. The next assembly elections in J&K are scheduled to be held in 2014.
A day after the Congress dismissed suggestions of Rahul Gandhi versus Abdullah on the issue, the J&K CM on Friday also denied of any conflict between the two. “Have to love the media’s priorities when my imaginary battle with Rahul is more important than what the President says in Kashmir,” he wrote on twitter.
But the ruling coalition has not had a smooth run so far with both allies bickering over several issues, including withdrawal of armed forces special powers act and the latest over the empowerment of panchayat members who are facing death threats from militants. The NC argues that since J&K has its own panchayati raj act there is no need to implement the amendments and that these would be incorporated in its own constitution.
The Congress, however, doubts the intention. “Let him bring the amendment bill, we will support him… we want empowerment of panchayats,” party leader Ashok Bhan said.