Monday, October 28, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Revolt by Cong MLAs
S. P. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, October 27
While the common minimum programme of the Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was being announced at the Congress headquarters in Delhi this afternoon 14 newly elected Congress and Independent MLAs raised a banner of revolt here and declared that they would not accept Mufti Mohammed Sayeed as the Chief Minister.

These MLAs held a series of meetings throughout the day even as the PCC chief, Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad, asked them on the telephone from Delhi not to precipitate the issue. They demanded that the term of rotational chief ministership should be reduced and they should be taken into confidence on the issue of allocating the key portfolios.

The MLAs accused Mr Azad, of having “sub-let” their confidence to Mr Sayeed without consulting them. They said they had made it clear to Dr Manmohan Singh that none other than Mr Azad was acceptable to them as the Chief Minister.

Interestingly, the legislators opposing Mr Sayeed as the Chief Minister are from both regions of Jammu and the Kashmir valley.

A Congress MLA, Mr Taj Mohiuddin, who has won from the Uri constituency of Kashmir, said the decision to give the chief ministership to Mr Sayeed was a betrayal of the trust of the legislators supporting Mr Azad.

Among those present at the meeting were, Moulvi Rashid, Mr Aijaz Ahmed, Mr Puran Singh, Dr Manohar Lal, Mr Taj Mohiuddin, Mr Sherif Niaz, Mr Ahmed Mir, Mr Yogesh Sawhney, Mr Jugal Kishore, Mr Majid Wani and Haji Abdul Gani.


Azad rules out split
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 27
Jammu and Kashmir Congress President Ghulam Nabi Azad today ruled out any split in the party following reports of discontent by some party MLAs over the post of chief ministership going to the PDP.

He said there was no danger of split. “We respect the sentiments of partymen but there is no reason for disillusionment,” Mr Azad told reporters here.

He said the Congress had “sacrificed” the chief ministership in the larger interest of the nation.

The PDP, he said, was willing to join the coalition only if the chief ministership was given to it.


Advani assures support to Mufti’s govt

Modasa (Gujarat), October 27
Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani said today that the new coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir would receive full support from the Central Government.

He said Mufti Mohammad Sayeed-led Congress-People’s Democratic Party (PDP) would get full cooperation from the Centre to control terrorism and for the development of the state.

Talking to mediapersons in this town of Sabarkantha district, he firmly denied any political crisis in Uttar Pradesh where the BSP-BJP coalition is in power. UNI

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