Won’t Accept Valley-specific Solution: Soz21 May 2011
Jammu: The President of Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) Prof Saifuddin Soz on Saturday said that his party would not accept any Valley specific solution. Soz, while speaking at a function to commemorate the 20th death anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi here said, “The solution in the state should be such that it respects the aspirations of people in the state’s Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir regions. No region-specific solution would be acceptable to the Congress.” Asking separatists to shed their rigid stance, Soz urged them to see the “writing on the wall.” “People of Kashmir want peace and development. I hope separatists will realize it sooner or later and will come forward for talks,” he said. Soz said despite Mumbai attacks the UPA-government kept channels of dialogue open. “The only way to solve any of the issue is to sit and talk it out,” he said. Soz said that some people in Kashmir had thought that violence can be used as a tool to settle political dispute, but masses have rejected it. “They (separatists) have understood that dialogue process and economic prosperity are important before resolving any issue.” Earlier paying tributes to the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Congress party secretary incharge (J&K) Mohan Prakash said that Gandhi was a great statesman and visionary who paved the way for the modern India and computer age. ‘CONG AHEAD IN PANCHAYAT POLLS’ Even as the Panchayat polls are being held on non-party, Prof Soz, minced no words in announcing that Congress extended ‘support’ to candidates in the state and claimed that his party gained an edge in the vote percentage, even in the National Conference strongholds, across the state. Soz said many candidates with his party’s ideology were provided ‘moral support’ in the ongoing elections and they won with huge margin. “The candidates having Congress backing emerging victorious indicates that party’s vote percentage in the valley as compared to the 2008 Assembly elections has gone up,” Soz claimed. To substantiate his claim he said, “Our candidate in Noorabad had polled only 11,500 votes in 2008 Assembly elections and lost to National Conference (NC) candidate (Sakina Itoo), who is now a Minister. Today he got 23,500 votes.' “Similarly, in Ganderbal Assembly segment (the constituency of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah) we have gained in terms of votes. I was not expecting such an edge to the party in Ganderbal,” he said. “Congress is happy that its own people have been elected to different Panchayat blocks. It has resulted in strengthening the party base,” he said. “Whosoever came to us, we provided moral support to him and we have reaped the fruits of success. Elections were to be held under non-party basis but there were no restrictions in providing help to the candidates,” Soz said. He said that it was decided to conduct elections on non-party basis, to ensure that entire process is conducted in a peaceful manner. “We supported the decision of conducting the elections on non-party basis because there was threat that candidates may be targeted. It was for that reason that political parties were not involved”, Soz said. The JKPCC president said that Congress has got more than it had expected.