Kargil Council Stalemate Over, Cong To Stake Claim

Kargil Council Stalemate Over, Cong To Stake Claim

11 September 2013
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Ehsan Fazili

Srinagar: After a week-long controversy over the formation of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) in Kargil, following the nomination of four members of the National Conference by the government, decks seem to be cleared for the Congress to stake the claim. The National Conference, which had submitted a list of 17 members, staking the claim to the Council formation, withdrew its claim yesterday. Out of the four nominated seats, two each would now go to the Congress and the National Conference (NC), with the Congress going ahead with the Council formation, sources said. The Council formation would be given a green signal at the meeting of the Coordination Committee, headed by the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee president Saifuddin Soz, here tomorrow. The meeting would also be attended by Congress leaders, Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand and Cabinet minister Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed. The NC is being represented by senior leaders, and ministers, Abdul Rahim Rather and Ali Mohammad Sagar, in addition to MLA Choudhary Mohammad Ramzan. Sources said the issue was resolved by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who is also the working president of the NC, at a meeting with All India Congress Committee general secretary and Congress in charge of J&K Ambika Soni in New Delhi yesterday. The sources said both agreed upon sharing the four nominated members to end the stalemate. With the new proposition, the Congress would be having a majority with 17 members and the NC will have 13 members in the 30-member Kargil Council. Though none of the coalition parties, contesting separately, had a clear majority, the congress emerged as the single largest party with 11 elected members. It has got the support of five Independents, taking the number to 15, required for the majority in the 26-member council. Four others are nominated by the government. Earlier meetings of the Coordination Committee of the NC and the Congress had failed to reach any agreement as the Congress had resented to the nomination of the four members with voting rights to the LAHDC, Kargil, days before the scheduled oath ceremony. The oath-taking ceremony scheduled for September 7 was postponed as the nomination prior to that had tilted the balance in favour of the National conference.