The differences within the state Congress became evident on Sunday after the party lashed out at its own minister for contradicting party chief Saifuddin Soz.
On Saturday, Congress leader and minister of irrigation and public health Taj Mohi-u-din had contradicted certain statements of Soz regarding chief minister Omar Abdullah’s move on the Armed Forces’ Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
Last week, Soz had said Abdullah had not consulted the Congress regarding the revocation of AFSPA. While talking against the revocation of AFSPA, Mohi-u-din, however, claimed Abdullah had consulted him.
Besides, Mohi-u-din said the chief minister would complete his term for “another three years and there was no issue of destabilising this coalition government”.
Though this was in keeping with the Congress central leadership’s views on the subject, it was in direct contradiction of the state unit’s demand that the post of the chief minister be rotated. The state party had even indicated that Soz was its candidate for the post.
On Sunday, party spokesperson Mohammad Muzaffar Parray said, “Mohi-u-din should know that he is seen in the public as a person who promotes National Conference at the cost of the Congress party. It is for him to decide whether he would be morally right to continue in the Congress.”
Soz is clear on the question of AFSPA and “he enjoys the support of the entire party in J&K,” Parray said in a statement.