Cong Gets Into Poll Mode, Ropes In NC, PDP Leaders Into JKPCC

Cong Gets Into Poll Mode, Ropes In NC, PDP Leaders Into JKPCC

14 October 2013
The Tribune (Chandigarh)


Jammu: Ahead of elections to the Lok Sabha and Assembly in J&K next year, the Congress today came out with a list of 15 prominent persons from the National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who would be joining the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) with “immediate effect”. While the National Conference is the senior ally in the ruling coalition, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had parted ways with the Congress in 2008 resulting in the unceremonious exit of then Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. Already into election mode, Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi today accepted suggestions to rope in some prominent faces from the National Conference and the PDP into the JKPCC. The list of 15 prominent faces also included some former bureaucrats. According to an official handout issued by the All India Congress Committee general secretary, Janardan Dwivedi, in New Delhi, Sonia Gandhi accepted the suggestion to include 15 prominent persons in the JKPCC with immediate effect. They include Thakur Balbir Singh, Murtaza Khan, Syeed Tassaduq Hussain, Mujeeb Ali Sheikh (all from PDP), Mohammed Aslam Goni (NC), Gurbachan Kaur, Ghulam Hassan Geelani, journalist-turned-politician Shafeeq Mir, former bureaucrat Zahida Khan, former state information director Farooq Ahmed Renzu, Bashir Ahmed Shah, Ghulam Hassan Rather, Gulzar Ahmed, Tafazul Hussain and Wali Mohammed. Reacting to the new JKPCC list, prominent PDP leader Thakur Balbir Singh said, “I have no knowledge about it. I just returned from touring my constituency and I am hearing it from you. How can they do it without my consent?” Another PDP leader Murtaza Khan said, “Principally, it is settled that I am in the Congress but it would not be appropriate for me to make a comment till the time a formal function of joining the party takes place.” Syed Tassadu Hussain, one of the founder members of the PDP who lost the last Assembly elections from the Rajouri segment by 136 votes, said: “I was aware of it. I have joined the Congress out of my own choice.” Despite repeated attempts, NC leader Mohammed Aslam Goni could not be contacted over the phone. Sonia has also constituted coordination, disciplinary and election panels for J&K. She has accorded her approval to the J&K Congress coordination committee that includes in charge of J-K party affairs Ambika Soni, JKPCC president Saifuddin Soz, Congress Legislature Party leader Choudhary Mohammed Aslam, Deputy CM Tara Chand, Muzzaffer Parey and RS Chib. The disciplinary committee includes Gurmukh Singh, who is chairman of the panel, GN Moonga, Narboo Gyalson, Vinod Sharma and Anwar Bhat. The election panel includes Saifuddin Soz, Choudhary Mohammed Aslam, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Tara Chand, Peerzada Mohammed Syeed, Sham Lal Sharma, GA Mir, Mohammed Sharif Niaz, Bashir Ahmed Magrey, Shamphel, Khemlata Wakhloo and Ravinder Sharma.