Cong Rejects Sagar’s Proposal For Local Bodies’ Polls

Cong Rejects Sagar’s Proposal For Local Bodies’ Polls

31 May 2013
Kashmir Times


Srinagar: Congress today rejected a proposal moved by a senior National Conference (NC) minister Ali Mohammad Sagar regarding holding of block development council polls in the state, reports a local news agency KNS. Quoting sources, the news agency said the proposal was moved in today’s cabinet meeting which was chaired by the chief minister Omar Abdullah at Civil Secretariat here. “The Congress ministers clearly rejected the proposal saying that they want elections to be held after new delimitation,” sources added. Senior Congress leader and minister for medical education, Taj Mohiuddin said the party wants to study the proposal first. “We can take a decision on the issue in the next cabinet meeting. We are not any hurdle in this process,” he said. In another report the news agency said feeling ‘cheated’ by NC, Congress is mulling to lodge a strong protest against what they say, ‘inordinate delay’ in holding local bodies election. Quoting sources in the Congress, it said the party was shocked by the statement of NC president and union Minster Dr. Farooq Abdullah on the issue and was seriously thinking of locking horns with its partner. Dr Abdullah had on Wednesday said that local bodies’ elections cannot be held until tourist season is over. Congress sources termed the statement as a change of mind. “They had agreed to hold the elections before June 30, but the fresh statement indicates a change of mind in NC camp,” a senior Congress leader, wishing anonymity said. He said state Congress president Prof Saif ud-Din Soz would convene a meeting of coalition Coordination Committee shortly ‘where the party’s displeasure would be conveyed to NC.’ “In the last CC meeting, we had proposed of holding the elections on May 31, but the NC was willing to hold the elections before June 30. There we both agreed to it and now they seem to be backtracking from the agreement,” sources claimed. Pertinently local bodies’ elections have become a bone of contention for both the coalition partners who have been busy in passing the buck to each other since the conduct of Panchyat elections in 2011. Meanwhile, the NC refused to accept that they were creating a ‘hitch’ in the process. “Chief Minster has more often asked the concerned minister who belongs to Congress to come up with a proposal but every time they turned up with excuses like delimitation and other such things. They have been doing it for last two years and now when tourist season is at its best, they are again began beating the drums,” a senior NC minister wishing not to be named said. He, however, said that the government cannot risk the tourist season by holding the elections now. “We should wait, till the tourist season is over,” he added.