Alliance Strategy In Place, NC-Cong Ministers Meet

Alliance Strategy In Place, NC-Cong Ministers Meet

3 March 2013
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: Ruling Alliance National Conference and Congress tonight reportedly worked out a strategy to facilitate admission of four fresh adjournment motions moved on the execution of Afzal Guru and killing of two police constables at Handwara, Kupwara and two motions moved on March 1 on the killing of Akhnoor prisoner Chamel Singh in Pakistani jail and return of his body tomorrow followed by a debate in which all political parties would get a chance to speak. Official sources told the Excelsior that Speaker Mubarak Gul had to take a final call on the admission of all adjournment motions tomorrow morning. Though Mr Gul declined to make any comment on the motions, his tone and tenor indicated that he would admit all adjournment motions tomorrow and give chance to one mover of each political party a chance to take part in the debate followed by a reply, which could be given by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who is returning from Srinagar tomorrow morning. It was, however, not necessary that Omar replies to the debate. Even Law Minister Saifullah Mir or any other senior Minister could give a reply but the chances were that the Chief Minister would himself reply to the debate. Hectic political activity was witnessed in the day when three senior National Conference Ministers called on their Congress Cabinet colleagues at the residence of Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand in which all pros and cons of tomorrow’s adjournment motions were discussed and a strategy finalised. The NC and Congress legislators including the Ministers would meet Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tomorrow morning on his return from Srinagar to formally devise the Alliance strategy in the Assembly. However, no fresh adjournment motions have been moved in the Legislative Council for tomorrow. Chairman Amrit Malhotra did not admit one adjournment motion moved by the PDP in the Upper House on Friday. The chances were that one speaker from each party, which had moved the adjournment motions, could be allowed to take part in the debate followed by the Government reply. The Congress, which was the Alliance partner of the National Conference and had major stakes in the adjournment motions as some of the parties could target the UPA Government headed by it for execution of Afzal Guru, has reportedly decided to field PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control Minister Sham Lal Sharma for the debate, if it takes place. Sources said four fresh adjournment motions have been moved for tomorrow by ruling National Conference, Opposition PDP and CPM and PDF (joint) seeking suspension of Monday’s business in the Assembly to discuss the situation that has arisen due to execution of Mohammad Afzal Guru on February 9 in Tihar jail and return of his mortal remains to the family. BJP breakaway group leader Prof Chaman Lal Gupta has moved an adjournment motion seeking discussion on the killing of two police constables-Santosh Singh of Kathua and Azad Chand of Chenani, Udhampur by the militants at Handwara, Kupwara. Sources said the NC and PDP have moved fresh adjournment motions seeking suspension of business on March 4 to discuss the issue of Guru’s execution and return of his body. Five MLAs including former Minister of State for Home Nasir Aslam Wani have signed the NC’s motion while PDP Legislature Party leader Mehbooba Mufti and over a dozen other party MLAs have signed the PDP’s motion. CPM MLA MY Tarigami and PDF MLA and former Minister Hakim Mohammad Yasin have moved a joint motion under Rule 56 seeking suspension of tomorrow’s business to discuss the issue of Guru. NC, PDP and CPM had moved adjournment motions on Guru on March 1 also while BJP MLA Jugal Kishore NPP leader Harshdev Singh had moved separate motion on the killing of Indian prisoner Chamel Singh in Pakistani jail seeking return of his body. Speaker Mubarak Gul had on March 1 reserved judgment on all adjournment motions before adjourning the House amidst uproar but said late in the evening the same day that he had admitted the motions. Meanwhile, Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather, Rural Development Minister Ali Mohammad Sagar and Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Saifullah Mir met six Cabinet Ministers of Congress along with lone DPN Minister Ghulam Hassan Mir at the residence of Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand for over two hours this evening. With AICC (I) general secretary, Incharge Jammu and Kashmir Mohan Prakash and PCC (I) president Prof Saif-ud-Din Soz leaving the issue to State Congress to devise its floor strategy on adjournment motions on Afzal Guru’s execution, which have been admitted by Speaker Mubarak Gul and were likely to be debated tomorrow in the Legislative Assembly, the NC Ministers were reported to have conveyed to the senior Congress Ministers that there would be nothing adverse against the UPA Government. The Congress Ministers present in the meeting were Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand, Public Enterprises Minister Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed, PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control Minister Sham Sharma, Housing Minister Raman Bhalla, Medical Education Minister Taj Mohi-ud-Din and Tourism Minister GA Mir. Agriculture Minister Ghulam Hassan Mir of DPN, an ally of Congress, was also present. Sources said the Congress Ministers made their stand clear that they represented New Delhi as it was their party, which was ruling the country at present and also it was Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, who had approved secret execution of Guru and burial of his body in Tihar jail. Mr Shinde had refused to return the body of Guru. Sources said the National Conference Ministers allayed apprehensions of the Congress Ministers that the Congress led UPA Government would be targeted during the adjournment motions. “We would defend our Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’’, the Congress Ministers reportedly said. Sources said the BJP breakaway group, BJP, NPP and JSM were likely to endorse the Centre on Guru’s execution. “We want nationalist Chamel Singh’s body back to Akhnoor. Moreover, Guru resolution was beyond the competency of Legislative Assembly’s discussion’’, NPP leader Harshdev Singh said.