Wednesday, October 16, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Ultimatum to Cong, PDP
Join hands, then seek our support: Inds
S. P. Sharma & Ehsan Fazili
Tribune News Service

CPM MLA Mohammad Yousuf Taragami and PDP leader Ghulam Hassan Mir
CPM MLA Mohammad Yousuf Taragami and PDP leader Ghulam Hassan Mir (bandaged wrist) with other leaders of the PDF after a meeting in Srinagar on Tuesday. — Tribune Photo Amin War

Srinagar, October 15
The efforts of the Congress to form a government in Jammu and Kashmir with the support of some Independents and smaller groups received a setback today as the group of seven Independents led by the CPM MLA, Mr Mohammad Yousuf Taragami, changed its stand and announced that they will extend their support only in case the Congress and the PDP joined hands.

These MLAs had earlier said that they would support the Congress in forming the government.

This has created a crisis because a government has to be installed in the state before Thursday when the term of the present Assembly expires. The Governor’s rule will have to be imposed in case any party fails to stake its claim for forming the government.

PDP president Mufti Sayeed addresses a Press conference
PDP president Mufti Sayeed addresses a Press conference in Srinagar on Tuesday. — PTI photo

These independent MLAs held a separate meeting in the afternoon with Mr Ghulam Hassan Mir, MLA of the PDP, in a hotel following which they changed their stand and urged both Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad, CLP leader, and Mufti Sayeed of the PDP to join hands.

They held a long meeting with Mr Azad in the evening and later left for the residence of Mr Mufti. No word had come till the filing of this report.

Following the meeting with Mr Azad, Mr Taragami told mediapersons that they had clearly told Mr Azad that they would not support any single party because the verdict of the people was in favour of the PDP in Kashmir valley and the Congress in Jammu region. The verdict was against the government of the National Conference headed by Dr Farooq Abdullah. All non-NC and non-BJP parties should join hands to provide a stable government to honour the mandate of the people.

However, the Congress circles were confident that they would be in a position to form the government and the state would not be allowed to plunge into a constitutional crisis.

On the other hand, the Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, flew to Delhi this morning. His supporters indicated that when the Congress with a strength of 20 MLAs was claiming to form a government , why should not the NC stake claim to forming a government.

Earlier in the day Mr Mufti made it clear that a stalemate had been created in the talks between the Congress and the PDP because the former was adamant to head the coalition government. He claimed that the mandate of the people in the Kashmir valley was in favour of the PDP which has a commitment with the people.

Asserting that the verdict of the Kashmiris was in favour of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) , Mufti Mohammed Sayeed asked the Congress to “rise above partisan interests and pave the way for his party to lead a coalition government “ in Jammu and Kashmir.

He said his party “should lead the coalition and it is only Kashmir that is to be addressed”.

He held that due to a clear mandate by the people of Kashmir , the people knew that the PDP had certain commitments. Mufti held that his party had no pre-poll alliance with any party on account of its basic agenda. Further elaborating, Mufti said the verdict in Kashmir was clearly in favour of the PDP and against the National Conference in Kashmir, while it was in favour of the Congress, and not the BJP in Jammu.

The PDP leader held the Congress responsible for the delay in the formation of the government in the state, but said that the option to have an alliance in this direction was still open. “When we are together, let us approach things together”, he said.

The former Union Home Minister, who returned from New Delhi after meeting several Congress leaders yesterday, also had a meeting with the Jammu and Kashmir Governor today.

Mufti said the ball was in the Congress court, which will have to be far-sighted vis-a-vis the future government of Jammu and Kashmir. 


Cong willing to stake claim in J&K
Prashant Sood
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 15
The Congress today indicated that it would stake claim to form government in Jammu and Kashmir even without support of People’s Democratic Party even as Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party chief Bhim Singh accused PDP chief Mufti Mohammad Sayeed of using the “North Block to camouflage all his activities.”

Senior Congress leaders Ahmed Patel and R.K. Dhawan, who today returned to the Capital from Srinagar, apprised the Congress high command of the party’s position in getting support of the MLAs.

The Congress has begun taking signatures of the MLAs willing to support its government and the leaders seemed confident that the party would reach the half-way mark once it moves towards forming a government. A senior Congress leader claimed that the party had support of 40 MLAs now.

AICC leaders indicated that the party would stake claim to form the government even if it could not obtain signatures of 44 MLAs required to prove the majority. “We hope that the Governor would give us some days to prove the majority and we would be able to cross the half-way mark,” a senior Congress leader said.

Still hopeful of flexibility in the approach of the PDP, the Congress leaders also feel that some PDP MLAs would break away in case top PDP leaders stick to their stand about having the post of Chief Minister.

Panthers Party chief Bhim Singh, who was in the Capital, sent a letter to President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam today saying that his party should be invited in case no other party is able to form a government.

Mr Bhim Singh said that Mr Sayeed should not become Chief Minister as it was “not in the interest of the people of the state and security of the country.”

In his letter, Mr Bhim Singh urged the President to ensure that the democratic process in Jammu and Kashmir was not hijacked by vested interests. Maintaining that Governor’s Rule should not be imposed in the state immediately after October 17 as there was no constitutional crisis, he referred to Section 33 of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution which says that the President could make special provisions in any contingency.

Maintaining that certain forces at the Centre as also the National Conference were playing spoilsport in the formation of a new government, Mr Bhim Singh alleged that the PDP was working at the behest of North Block.

He said that PDP in its election rallies had criticised the security forces and it was difficult for political parties to agree to PDP’s demands for disbanding the Special Operations Group of the Jammu and Kashmir police.Back

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |