All Is Not Well On The Kashmir Front...
28 May 2006
Srinagar: All is not well on the political front in Jammu and Kashmir. The two major political parties ~ the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Congress ~ who share the power with other partners in the state, are at loggerheads in the trouble-torn state. The discontent, insiders say, had started brewing after the handling over the power to Congress in last November. As such, the PDP was fully confident of continuing with the chief ministership which did not happen. Things started deteriorating when the PDP raised the bogey of self rule ~ a slogan which it never touched upon during the three years of its rule .Though now the issue has been included in the Centre ~ state working group constituted by the Prime Minister after the conclusion of the second round table conference, political observers believe that the bickering between the two major shareholders won't die down in near future. What has added fuel to the fire is the statement by senior PDP leaders regarding the possibility of mid-term poll in the state. PDP president Ms Mehbooba Mufti had told a public meeting at Magam recently to prepare for mid-term poll. But she or other PDP leaders have not threatened to withdraw support to the Congress-led coalition. The Congress, however, has challenged the PDP to withdraw support to the ruling coalition in Jammu and Kashmir, reflecting at a growing rift between the two. 'There is no possibility of a mid- term poll in the state. Let me tell you that I would complete my remaining two and a half years comfortably,' the chief minister Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad told The Statesman here today. His PCC chief Mr Peerzada Mohammad Syed had dared the PDP to withdraw support to the government The Congress has 21 MLAs in the 87-member House while PDP has 18 and the Opposition National Conference 25. 'We are running a coalition in Centre. The Congress talks of India as one but our partners have different ideologies and agenda. Here, we have the PDP, the PDF, the Panthers Party, the CPI-M and other partners and we run the government together,' said the chief minister. He iterated that he was not going anywhere and would complete his full tenure and that there won't be any mid-term poll as long as he is there. Asked that the PDP was raking up anti-Indian sentiments in the Valley, the chief minister said people had been raising anti- India slogans in Kashmir since 1947. 'Most of the people have been thriving on these slogans here,' he said. It may be recalled that the Congress general secretary Mr Abdul Majid Padder has asked for a CBI probe into the alleged nexus between PDP and militants.