NC Surprises Many, Stakes Claim For Majority In Kargil

NC Surprises Many, Stakes Claim For Majority In Kargil

9 September 2013
The Daily Excelsior
Neeraj Rohmetra

Jammu: In a surprise development that came a day after National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah announced that the NC was opting out of the race of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Kargil, the party leaders in Kargil today met Deputy Commissioner Fida Hussain and submitted a list of 16 Councilors staking claim of majority in the Council. The latest development prompted the Congress to seek another meeting of the Co-ordination Committee and demand withdrawal of nomination of four Councilors, made by the Government, which has tilted balance in favour of the National Conference. Three senior Congress leaders also issued a statement charging its Alliance partners-the National Conference with “playing foul” against the Congress. Official sources told the Excelsior that NC leader and Councilor Kacho Ahmad Ali Khan today met the Deputy Commissioner Kargil and submitted him a list of 16 Councilors to claim majority in the House of 30 (26 elected members and four nominated). The Congress had earlier submitted a list of 15 members to the DC to claim majority. Sources said one member figured in the list of both NC and Congress. Kacho told the Excelsior after submitting the majority list to the DC Kargil that his list included eight Councilors elected on NC mandate, three Independent Councilors backed by Islamia School, Kargil, one Independent Syed Hassan Arman and four nominated Councilors. He said the Kargil leadership of the NC had received no message from the party high command not to claim majority in the Council. Kacho met the DC Kargil at 12.30 pm and submitted him the list of 16 members and urged the DC to call them to form the new Council. Kacho is NC nominee for Chief Executive Councilor though Ladakh MP Ghulam Hassan Khan, a NC leader has also been elected to the Council. NC MLA from Kargil and Advisor to Chief Minister, Qamar Ali Akhoon has also endorsed the claim of Kacho to form majority in the Council. “We have majority in Kargil and we will form the Council,” he said. The NC claim to form the Council surprised the political circles as only yesterday, Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy and NC president Dr Farooq Abdullah had announced in Srinagar that NC was opting out of the race of formation of LAHDC Kargil. Speaking to Excelsior, PCC (I) president Prof Saif-ud-Din Soz said the PDP Government had in 2004 given voting right to nominated members by an order, which had to be incorporated in the LAHDC Kargil Act within three years. However, this was not done, he said, indicating that the nominated members didn’t have the voting right. Demanding immediate withdrawal of the Government order nominating four members to the LAHDC Kargil, Prof Soz said giving voting rights to nominated Councilors was unconstitutional. “The National Conference was trying to grab the Council by nominating its four leaders to the Council unilaterally and giving them the voting rights, which is against the Constitution. Dr Farooq Abdullah stated yesterday that the Congress was free to form the Council. Today, NC leaders have staked claim for majority. The question is not confined to electing the CEC but it was related to violation of politics of principles and coalition dharma,” Prof Soz said. He added that the Co-ordination Committee was the right forum to sort out the issue amicably and it should be convened immediately. “Still an amicable solution can be found to the issue. The matter can be resolved democratically if he Government withdraws its order nominating four members to the Council,” the PCC (I) chief said. Prof Soz said the Congress candidate for the post of CEC Asgar Ali Karblaie met him and challenged the list submitted by the NC to the DC Kargil claiming majority. He added that NC has claimed the majority of four nominated members, who, according to him, have no voting right. Meanwhile, sources said, Minister to Minister contact has also been established between Congress and National Conference to resolve the issue. A senior Minister of Congress is reported to have spoken to his Cabinet colleague of NC and discussed the issue. The Congress Minister sought that the Co-ordination Committee meeting be convened to sort out the issue mutually. Meanwhile, three Congress leaders today issued a joint statement regretting that NC has to chosen to 'play foul’ in respect of the constitution of LAHDC Kargil. “The very fact that the NC chose to make nominations to the Council surreptitiously even before elected members had taken oath, showed that NC is bent upon playing foul against the Congress,” they said. They added: “the reports in the media that NC had conceded the defeat and chairmanship of LAHDC Kargil would go to the Congress is a deliberate attempt to camouflage the real designs of the NC wanting to maneuver a majority in the Kargil Council. “The only viable solution available to the coalition is the meeting of Co-ordination-Committee to work out amicable settlement provided that NC withdraws four nominations it had made in utter violation of the Act and rules thereof,” they added. Signatories to the statement included Mohammad Muzaffar Parray, MLC and senior vice president PCC (I), Ghulam Nabi Monga and Bashir Ahmad Magrey, both MLCs and vice presidents PCC (I). Meanwhile, the Congress Ministers are meeting in Srinagar at 10:30 am tomorrow under the chairmanship of Prof Soz to discuss future strategy on Kargil Council.