M A I N   N E W S

Hectic parleys on for govt formation
NC-Cong or PDP-Cong? Coalition being worked out
Ehsan Fazili
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, December 29
Even as the NC has turned out to be the front-runner in staking claim to form a government with the Congress in Jammu and Kashmir, hectic political activities are going on for an alternative Congress-PDP coalition arrangement.

Three major players, NC, PDP and Congress, like in the past, have been unable to get the required majority of 44 in the 87-member House. The PDP and the Congress, which formed the coalition government in 2002, have fallen apart in the wake of the Amarnath land row that led to premature fall of the Azad-led coalition government in July.

Sources said hectic efforts were on in the PDP camp on a power-sharing arrangement with the Congress. “The exercise is on and we have not given it up”, PDP sources told The Tribune. It is the second largest party with 21 seats, followed by the Congress with 17 falling short of only six seats to get a majority in the House. Sources claimed that some of the Independent and others were ready to extend support either to the PDP or the Congress.

This arrangement with State Congress chief and Union Water Resources Minister, Saifuddin Soz to play a key role is being supported by Kashmir-based Congress leaders. Senior leader and former minister Taj Mohiuddin, re-elected from Uri, has been playing an “active and important role” in this direction. Under this arrangement, Soz would be the Chief Minister for the first term of three years. “We have certain reservations or hurdles that could be removed”, a PDP leader said.

However, a section of the Congress leaders favouring Ghulam Nabi Azad to be the next Chief Minister for the first three years have been in favour of the alliance with the National Conference. The Congress and the National Conference were alliance partners in the past following the Rajiv-Farooq accord of 1986.

National Conference patron and former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, who had earlier been projected as the Chief Ministerial candidate, has now passed on the onus to his son and party president Omar Abdullah. Farooq has made it clear that Omar would be the party’s Chief Ministerial candidate ahead of the possible coalition with the Congress.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |