Mufti Signals November Power Shift To Party: Cong Is Coming
6 October 2005
The Indian Express
New Delhi: The People's Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has conveyed to his leadership that the Congress is going to take over the in November according to the deal between the party and the Congress.Sources close to the chief minister told The Indian Express that Sayeed, who is in Delhi, is likely to have a second meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday. Congress sources in New Delhi said that the Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad, has been asked to take over the top job in the strife-torn state. Party president Sonia Gandhi is coming to Chandigarh on Friday to attend the chief minister's conclave. Partymen are hoping that Gandhi, in her concluding address, may give indications regarding the change of power. Sources said Sayeed, despite pressure from a faction in the party, has refused to plead his case in Delhi about continuing as the chief minister. His daughter, MP Mehbooba Mufti, had met Sonia Gandhi a few days ago in Delhi to discuss the issue of the change of power. The state Congress leadership was surprised when Gandhi's proposed visit to Srinagar in first week of October was postponed. No fresh date has been fixed so far, but AICC general secretary Ambika Soni's statement in a recent interview to a television channel, that the agreement between Congress and the PDP will be implemented, has raised their hopes. Azad has already visited his home state at least thrice in the last few weeks. In his recent speech, he also indicted that he has prepared himself to return to his home state.