Lok Sabha Elections 2014; Congress-NC Pre-poll Alliance Unlikely

Lok Sabha Elections 2014; Congress-NC Pre-poll Alliance Unlikely

2 January 2014
Kashmir Life


Srinagar: With the loaded statements coming from veterans of two coalition partners in the state, it has almost been made clear that there are hardly any chances of forging a pre poll alliance by Congress and National Conference for the forthcoming parliamentary elections. While senior Congress leader and union minister for health Ghulam Nabi Azad gave vent to his concern that the spirit of alliance has not seeped to the ground level (workers), Mustafa Kamal and Devinder Singh Rana, senior NC leaders posed confident saying that NC’s independent electoral strength cannot be taken for a ride. Talking to KNS, Mr Azad had regretted that the Congress workers have been neglected to the hilt and the issue had hardly surfaced in any cabinet meeting in the state. Though, he blamed Congress ministers for the dereliction of their mandate to raise the issue in the cabinet, but his remarks were essentially pointing finger at National Conference. Even before Azad’s statement could have booked the desired space in the press, Rana neutralized its impact by issuing a hard hitting statement on the same day in the afternoon, preempting the inevitable gossips about the Congress feelers. In his statement while agreeing that the coalition always is a compulsion, Rana observed the decision with regard to pre or post poll alliance in the ensuing Lok Sabha and Assembly elections will be taken by the National Conference High Command. He also declared that NC party workers and functionaries have all along been pitching for going to polls independently keeping in view the ‘premier’ character of his party in Jammu and Kashmir politics. Though he himself didn’t comment on poll alliance, but NC’s Provincial President remarked his party workers are of the opinion that entering into any sort of alliance will jeopardize the larger interests of NC. Before Rana’s statement went to press, Azad had told KNS that the three nominations made by the National Conference for Parliamentary seats in Kashmir valley were made by the National Conference with a view that the seat sharing agreement between it and the Congress will continue. “The NC’s announcement of its three Parliamentary candidates is perhaps in the backdrop of our last seat sharing agreement. We had an alliance with NC some four and a half years ago wherein three seats were given to NC in Valley. And the other seats including that of Ladakh were taken by Congress. Perhaps they (NC) thought this alliance will continue so they have announced the names of their three candidates,” Azad had told KNS on December 31, 2013. Though being castigated by Congress for his candid reaction to Aazd’s statement of neglecting Congress workers and government of India’s liberal funding to Jammu and Kashmir, on Wednesday (Jan 1), Mustafa Kamal, NC additional general secretary had told KNS that his party has never forged a pre poll alliance with the Congress and history bears testimony to this fact. “…History bears witness to the fact that NC never forged any pre-poll alliance with the Congress here and that both the parties should contest separately so that the representative character could get emerged of both the parties,” he had told KNS. Political observers here believe that both the coalition partners have made their mind that there will be no pre poll alliance between the two and preparing the ground for separate contests, the leadership of the two parties have started talking about it with certain amount of certainty. “But it can be a strategy to fell the pulse of the people as both the parties have left the final decision to their high commands. Anything anytime is possible only in politics,” said a senior political activist, pleading anonymity.