Rift within J&K coalition over accession widens now
The rift within the ruling coalition partners in Jammu & Kashmir, the National Conference and the Congress, came to the fore on Monday over the issues of Instrument of Accession and the rotation of chief minister.Updated: Jun 13, 2011 23:45 IST
The rift within the ruling coalition partners in Jammu & Kashmir, the National Conference and the Congress, came to the fore on Monday over the issues of Instrument of Accession and the rotation of chief minister.
A number of Congress workers and leader held two separate meetings with senior Congress leaders Makhan Lal Fotedar and Dr Karan Singh in Srinagar.
Many Kashmir-based Congress leaders expressed their desire that the position of chief minister in Kashmir should be rotated. The leaders want present CM Omar Abdullah to rule for three years and leave the seat for a Congress leader for the next three years.
"There are workers who expressed the desire to see a Congress leader as the chief minister but they should not be gagged for that…One thing is clear the Congress does not want to play as team B in the coalition government," said state Pradesh Congress Committee vice president Ghulam Nabi Monga.
Around 300 Congress workers participated in the meetings amid reports that Congress high command and its patron Sonia Gandhi has allowed the National Conference to run the government till 2014.
"If the Congress high command has an agreement with the NC to run the full term, we will implement Sonia ji's decision. The demand of Congress leaders to have a CM from the party should not be misconstrued as instability in the coalition," Monga said.
Jammu and Kashmir PCC president Saif-ud-Din Soz had to interject and prevail upon Congress workers to "make them understand that the party high command's decision on the rotation of CM will be final".
Dr Singh, however, assured the workers that "the party grievances and thoughts will be conveyed to the Congress top brass".
The Congress workers' demand has come just as Abdullah claimed he will run the complete term till 2014 a few days ago.
The rotation of CM's seat might have Congress divided within but the Instrument of Accession of Kashmir with New Delhi has the coalition partners vertically divided.
"There is no question of Jammu and Kashmir's accession with India being conditional. It is final and no one can challenge it," said Fotedar.
The Congress statement has come just two days after senior National Conference leader and state finance minister Abdul Raheem Rather said "the accession was based on certain conditions, which have been accepted by the central government."
"The documental conditions which include 1952 position - Delhi Agreement - and Article 370 are pedestal of state-Center relations," Rather said while asking New Delhi to take practical measures for the restoration of 1952 position in Jammu and Kashmir.
First Published: Jun 13, 2011 19:56 IST