Cong Snub To CM: We Take Our Own Decisions


Premature decision, needs party stamp: Kamal

SRINAGAR (KNS) – Reacting to the Statement of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah where he had called the legislative council elections as a preparation for National conference and the Congress to fight 2014 assembly elections in an alliance, Congress senior leader and Minister for Health, Sham Lal Sharma today said that no one could dictate terms to the congress party.

“Congress is the largest party of India having its own history of over 150 years, which is known to every one. Congress takes its decisions on its own.  No one can force its decision on it (Congress). It is the party High Command Soniaji and Saifudin Soz, who can take decisions on behalf of the state Congress”, the Congress leader told KNS.

“I don’t know in which context Omar Sahab has said that Congress and NC would fight 2014 elections 2014 but let me tell you that neither Mehbooba Mufti nor Omar Abdullah can take decisions on behalf of the Congress”, said Sharma.

He said that incorporation of provisions of 73rd amendment act in State Act is equal to NC’s Autonomy and PDP’s Self Rule.

He said he fails to understand what Autonomy and Self Rule are all about. “I often ask them (PDP and NC) to define Autonomy and Self Rule. 73rd Amendment Act is itself equal to the both”, he said.

When asked whether the Congress had failed to convince its coalition partner for the implementation of 73rd Amendment Act in the State, Sharma said, “In totality our (MLA’s) mindset doesn’t allow us to delegate our powers to any other person. It is in human nature but now there are not too many opponents. It is the moral responsibility of the CM to communicate to the congress High Command the names of Congress Ministers whom he alleges to have opposed empowerment of Panchayats. He can even make those names public.”

Regarding the decision of one section of Panches and Sarpanches to vote against NC and Congress, the minister said:  “That is the beauty of our democracy. It cannot be ignored that the group could be having affiliations with some other party”.

Admitting that two Congress portfolios with NC is a mistake on part of Congress, he said that it is High Command to decide on the issue.

Reacting to the recent “anti-India” statement of NC Additional General Secretary Dr. Mustafa Kamal, he said that Kamal should respect his position and should not issue such statements. “We know he (Kamal) contradicts his own statements and comes to apologize before public”, said Sharma.

He said the Congress party will always remain the key party in formation of government in the state.

“Every CM has his road map and currently Congress is backing Omar Abdullah. I was a minister during PDP-Congress regime. We have post poll alliance with NC but not pre poll and the key to form the government is always with the Congress”, he added. 

Talking about his functions as being in the winter secretariat in Srinagar, he said that his priority was to ensure all basic facilities to the people here. “I have held meting with Divisional Commissioner Kashmir and discussed various issues with him and directed the authorities to make available essential commodities to people like electricity, medicines, LPG, rice and other things, I’m sending report to CM regarding problem of low voltage of electric supply and have conveyed the same to him on phone”, said Sharma.

He said that the Drug Policy will be implemented very shortly in the State. “I’ve also made it mandatory for doctors to serve at primary health centre’s for seven years at their initial stage of their career’, informed Sharma.

Meanwhile, in a surprise development, the National Conference also distanced itself from the ‘grand-alliance’ remark of its working president and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, calling it premature. .

“It may be the Chief Minister’s wish and may have said this with good intension; however, the issue has not been discussed in the party.  It has not been discussed in the working committee of the party and needs the party’s stamp”, National Conference Additional General Secretary, Dr Mustafal Kamal told KNS.

He said there is a lot of time left for such a decision. “It would be premature to say. The elections will be held in 2014 and we will have to see what is right for the interest of the party. Such a decision can only be taken after ascertaining the political scenario before the elections, both at the state and central level. In politics things change over a period of time”, Kamal added.

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