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Cong not NC's B team: Soz

Says Omar will stay in the saddle, no chance of reviving concept of rotational CM.

india Updated: Apr 12, 2011 23:31 IST

Jammu and Kashmir Congress president Saifuddin Soz on Tuesday said Omar Abdullah would complete his term as chief minister, even as he dismissed the perception that his party was playing second fiddle to the National Conference in the coalition government.

"Bureaucracy sometimes plays into the hands of the chief minister and his close aides. That will happen as you can't brush aside people. However, the Congress is not the B team of the NC. Future elections will throw up surprises," said Soz, who has assumed a key position in running of the government as he also heads the Alliance Coordination Committee.

In an interaction with HT on Tuesday, the PCC president spoke at length on various issues confronting coalition politics, the controversy over the Dogra certificate, factionalism in PCC, Omar's performance as the chief minister and how he has "controlled" his ambitions.

Soz made it clear that he was pursuing the "dharma of carrying everybody along." He ruled out the possibility of reviving the concept of rotational chief minister in the state.

"It's for him (Omar) to run the show and the NC will do it. The decision has been taken by the party high command and there is no question of any discussion on it," the PCC president said.

He said the Congress alone could maintain unity and integrity of the state and ensure harmonious relations with the rest of the country.

Defending revenue minister Raman Bhalla for issuing the government order for the Dogra certificate, he said the former did it in good faith. "But, as some people had misgivings, we decided to send it to the Cabinet," he added.

Soz said: "The Dogra concept is not tied to any religion. I don't think there is any room for controversy."

The PCC president regretted the absence of cordial and working relations between political parties in the state, especially the People's Democratic Party (PDP). He said there was political "suffocation" in the state due to absence of political interaction.

He said, "We discuss issues with the BJP at the centre but I don't see that happening here."

He maintained that the Congress was having no working relationship with the PDP. "We are working with the NC," Soz said.