Omar Will Complete Full Six Year Term: Cong31 October 2011
The Daily Excelsior
New Delhi: Setting at rest rumours on the stability of the coalition and talk of rotation of Chief Ministership in Jammu and Kashmir, Congress today made it clear that Omar Abdullah will complete his full term. Against the backdrop of recent sparring between Omar and PCC chief Prof Saifuddin Soz, party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said, 'We stand committed to our commitment to support the present coalition in Jammu and Kashmir for its full term'. Congress and NC had agreed in January 2009 that Omar will be the Chief Minister for the entire six-year tenure, while Congress would hold some key portfolios, including Tourism. J&K AICC in-charge Mohan Prakash also said, 'there is no second thought on our earlier decision on coalition'. Congressí assertion came in the backdrop of the strains appearing in the relationship between the two coalition partners on a number of issues, including the recent controversy over Omarís announcement on withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from certain areas of the State. Stung by the 'unilateral' announcement, Prof Soz had said all stakeholders - including the Army - should have been consulted before taking such stand, inviting a terse response from Omar, who said he is well aware of his responsibilities. Congress had however backed Prof Sozís remarks with Prakash saying, 'If PCC president has said something, there must be reason behind it. We also feel that there is need for better coordination between the two coalition partners (National Conference and Congress) there'. Congress has, however, refused to spell out its views on AFSPA withdrawal in J&K, saying it is for the Home Ministry and the agencies concerned to take a decision. Despite the Congress ruling out rotation of power in J&K, a senior Congress leader on condition of anonymity said the annual performance review of the State Government could be activated as agreed with its ally National Conference in 2009. At the time of formation of coalition, both the parties had agreed on reviewing the performance of the State Government annually, a measure which has not been implemented since the Omar-led Government came to power in January 2009. The annual review of the Governmentís performance at central leadership level of both the parties could also be activated, the leader said. Earlier, while talking to EXCELSIOR on telephone, Mr Prakash stressed the need to strengthen coalition Government in the State and ensure better coordination between the ruling partners. 'Though there is no danger to the Congress-National Conference Government yet there is a need to strengthen the alliance and ensure proper coordination between the partners'. Rejecting the assertions that Congress party was divided on certain issues in Jammu and Kashmir, he said, 'there is no division in the party. Rather the party is clear on various issues and wants to resolve them in much better way'. About the rotational Chief Minister issue and the recent statement of partyís Minister in J&K, Taj Mohi-ud-Din, he said, 'discussing the issue of rotational Chief Minister doesnít fall in the domain of Mr Taj and he should have not made any statement'. Expressing serious concern over the reaction of Mr Taj on the issue of withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act, Mr Prakash said, 'this issue too doesnít fall in the domain of the Minister and he should have stayed away from making any statement on this serious and sensitive matter'. 'Like rotational Chief Minister, he is nobody to speak on AFSPA issue. He should desist from reacting on sensitive issues in future', the Incharge of Congress affairs in J&K said, adding that party high command has taken serious note of Mr Tajís statements on both the sensitive issues.