Congress For Early Polls In J&K

2 October 2008
The Hindustan Times

New Delhi: Congress on Thursday said it wanted restoration of the democratic process in Jammu and Kashmir as soon as possible as the Governor's rule there cannot fulfill aspirations of the people. 'Election should be held as soon as possible. Democratic process should be restored,' Congress leader and former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told PTI. Jammu and Kashmir was brought under Governor's rule and the state assembly dissolved on July 10, three days after Azad resigned as Chief Minister without facing a confidence vote on the floor of the House following withdrawal of support by coalition partner PDP. The PDP had withdrawn support in the wake of land transfer controversy involving the Amarnath shrine board. 'Governor's rule cannot fulfill hopes and aspirations of common people as MLAs and ministers can do,' he said. Azad said it was not a question of who would win or who would lose but people should be given their democratic rights to exercise their franchise and elect their representatives. Asked whether he would suggest any particular date as the winter is approaching, the former chief minister said it was the prerogative of the Election Commission to announce the poll schedule. On the possibility of having an alliance with PDP again, Azad said it was too early to comment. 'Alliance is a post-poll issue,' he said. Jammu and Kashmir Assembly has a strength of 87 members.