Congress Minister's Pro-Omar Remark Draws Party's Flak30 October 2011
Srinagar: Taking strong exception to their party's minister Taj Mohi-ud-Din's remark that Omar Abdullah will stay on as chief minister for the full term, Congress leaders in Jammu and Kashmir have asked him to decide whether he wants to stay in the party. Minister for Public Health Engineering and Irrigation Taj Mohi-ud-Din had stated that National Conference's (NC) Omar Abdullah will stay chief minister for 'full six years', ruling out the possibility of rotational chief minister. The NC and Congress are ruling alliance partners. In two separate statements on Sunday, the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) leaders have criticised the minister's remarks. PCC spokesperson Mohammad Muzzaffar Parray termed the minister's comments as 'unfortunate'. He also ridiculed the minister for suggesting that Congress was consulted on the proposal for withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act from Jammu and Kashmir, in contradiction to what PCC chief Saif-ud-Din Soz had said earlier. Soz had lambasted the chief minister for making a 'unilateral statement on AFSPA' and had denounced that Omar had not consulted Congress. The PCC spokesperson said: 'Soz is clear on this question and he enjoys support of the entire party in the J&K state'. He added that 'Taj should know that he is seen in the public as a person who promotes National Conference at the cost of Congress party. He is also seen as a person who enjoys the public perception of being more loyal than the king, rather impetuously. It is for him to decide whether he would be morally right to continue in the Congress.' In anotherstatement, PCC general secretaries Vinod Sharma, Vinod Mishra, Maheshwar Singh, Ashok Sharma and Anil Chopra said that 'whatever will be the decision of party high command on the issue of rotational chief ministership will be acceptable to the party rank and file', but they lambasted at minister for issuing a statement 'which is a prerogative of the party high command not of Taj Mohi-ud-Din.' 'It would be better for him to set his own ministry right which is not properly functioning to the expectations of the people as in most of areas people are suffering from water scarcity,' they added.