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Would prefer to contest polls alone: NC

india Updated: Dec 31, 2013 20:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The National Conference has said it will prefer to contest elections independently, though any decision on a pre-poll or post-poll alliance for parliamentary or state elections would be taken by the party high command.

"The NC workers at the grassroots level are of the opinion that entering into any sort of alliance will jeopardise the larger interests of the party. It is the premier party of the state, with presence in all three regions, and this position cannot be compromised, come what may," party provincial president Devinder Singh Rana said in an interaction with students of journalism from Delhi, visiting Jammu on Tuesday.

Two days ago, former chief minister and union minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had said the state unit leadership of the party was not interested in any alliance, and had also said any decision would be taken by the party high command.

The NC has already announced three candidates for the parliamentary elections from the three seats of the Valley, which has not gone down well with the Congress.

This is for the first time that the NC had hinted at going alone, though it has been consistently saying that decision on any alliance will be decided by the party high command.

The NC had won 28 seats and the Congress had won 17 in the last assembly elections. The Congress had suffered a major reverse in the Jammu region because of the Amarnath land agitation, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had secured 11 seats, its highest-ever tally in the assembly elections.

Rana, however, said coalition was always a "compulsion".

"Party workers and functionaries have all along been pitching for going to polls independently, keeping in view the premier character of the NC in Jammu and Kashmir politics," said Rana.

He said the NC was the only party which can claim existence in all three regions of the state. In the last assembly elections, the NC had won six of the 28 seats from the Jammu region, and the Congress had secured three of the 17 seats from the Valley. The PDP had won two of the 21 seats from Jammu region.

The NC provincial president said the most important fact was that the Congress high command had reposed "immense faith" in Omar Abdullah's leadership.

During the violent summer of 2010 in Kashmir, which had claimed the lives of 110 youths, Rahul Gandhi had extended support to Omar by stating that he (Omar) was doing a tough job and should be given support, he added.

Rana said the synergy between the NC and the Congress high command in the last five years had been "perfect", and the government had functioned "very smoothly", adding that the Centre, especially Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi, has been receptive to the state's special requirements in view of the circumstances it has undergone during the past more than two decades.

"The NC and Congress are running this government together and our report card of five years is before the people. For all the good that has happened, both parties must share the credit, and shortcomings, if any, are also the responsibility of both, and they should be overcome in the days to come," he said.