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No decision yet by Cong about pre-poll alliance with NC: Soz
SRINAGAR, Dec 8: PCC chief Prof Saif-u-Din Soz today said no decision has been taken by Congress about a pre- poll alliance with National Conference (NC) for 2014 assembly elections.

He was talking to media persons on the sidelines of a function at his party headquarters here. Soz was asked to comment on chief minister Omar Abdullah statement that NC and Congress will form a pre-poll alliance.

“Surely Congress and National Conference made siginifant gains during the legislative council polls. It does not mean that a decision has been taken by Congress about pre-poll alliance with NC. The decision whether or not to enter into such an alliance would be taken at an appropriate time by our party high command,” he said.

Soz stated that senior Congress leaders would sit in New Delhi and discuss the issue.

“Before taking any decision our leaders will have to discuss various aspects related to such an arrangement,” he said.

Asked if Congress has not taken any decision on the issue why chief minister made an announcement regarding pre-poll alliance between the two parties, PCC chief said, “You better ask this question to Omar sahib. He is very much authorized to speak on behalf of NC. But as far as I know our party has not yet taken any decision.. Even I can not say whether we should enter into an alliance or not since I am an ordinary soldier of my party. Congress high command is the final authority to take a final decision on it.”

The function at PCC headquarters was held to thank sarpanchs and panchs of the state and Congress party cadres for having participated in the Panchayat elections in such a large number.

In his address to panches and sarpanches, Soz said the coordination committee of National Conference-Congress would meet soon to discuss the empowering of the Panchayats. “I will put forward the demands of the Sarpanchs and Panchs during the meeting. The demands including honorarium and insurance cover for panchs and sarpanchs are under active consideration of the government. A decision to this regard is expected soon. During my recent meeting with union rural development minister, Jairam Ramesh, I raised the demands of Sarpanchs and Panchs with him. He assured insurance cover for Panchayat representatives. Financial assistance in this regard would be provided by the centre,” Soz said..

He added that Congress will not pressurize the NC for amendment in the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act. Soz viewed that J&K’s Panchayati Raj Act is one of the best models in the country but it still needs some changes. “Our demand to incorporate the provisions of 73rd amendment of Indian constitution in the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act was made to overcome all the shortcomings of the existing Panchayati Raj system,”PCC chief said..

PCC chief observed that panches and sarpanches need empowerment and not security. He said he would soon meet chief minister and discuss with him issues related to panchayats.

Soz announced that Panchayat conferences will be held in Kashmir and Jammu Provinces very soon in which Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Omar Abdullah and Mohan Prakash will be invited.

In the meanwhile at Jammu too, Soz expressed similar views while talking to media persons after a function organised by Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) at PCC headquarter Shaheedi Chowk, Jammu to celebrate the victory of the coalition candidates in the elections to four seats of Member Legislative Council from Panchayats.

Soz reiterated the commitment of the Congress party and the coalition for empowering the Panchayats by incorporating the necessary provisions of 73rd Amendment, wherever required, through discussion, dialogue and consensus. He also referred to the issue of honorarium and said that same was taken up with Union Minister of Rural Development and Panchayats by him as well as Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

He congratulated the party workers and the party high command for the success in these elections and said that soon Panchayat Conferences would be held in Kashmir and Jammu, in which Rahul Gandhi, Omar Abdullah Chief Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mohan Parkash would be invited.

Soz expressed gratitude to the Sarpanches and Panches for their record participation in these elections, strengthening the democracy in the state.

Earlier, the President JKPCC and former Union Minister, who arrived here after attending a similar function in Srinagar, was welcomed and profusely garlanded by the District Congress Committee Jammu Urban led by Om Chopra ex-MLA and other senior leaders out side the party headquarter amidst slogans in favour of the Congress party and leadership. He was accompanied by newly elected MLC of Congress Sham Lal Bhagat.

Addressing the gathering Soz described it as a marvelous victory of Congress party and the coalition in all three regions of the state. He congratulated the party workers and leaders for launching a joint campaign ensuring the victory of all four candidates. He said that Congress was a vibrant force in all three regions and these elections had testimony to this fact.

Sham Lal Bhagat newly elected MLC also thanked the party leaders, workers and Sarpanches and Panches for ensuring his victory.

Several other prominent leaders present on the occasion included senior vice president PCC Dharam Pal Shrma ex-MP, ministers Raman Bhalla, Sham Lal Sharma, vice presidents PCC Hari Singh, Gurmukh Singh, Mula Ram, general secretary and spokesperson Ravinder Sharma MLC, Shabir Ahmed Khan MoS, Chairman Social Welfare Board Khem Lata Wakhloo, Vice Chairperson SC Board Swarn Lata, Vice Chairman Gujjar and Bakerwals Board Bashir Naaz, Vice Chairman OBC Board Kuldeep Raj Verma, president Mahila Congress Indu Pawar-MLA, Kanta Bhan, former minister Lal Mohammad Sabir, Manjit Singh ex-minister, president DCC Ramban Bharat Gandhi ex-MLA, president DCC Samba Parkash Sharma ex-MLA, Shiv Dev Singh ex-MLA, president INTUC Shiv Kumar Sharma, Manmohan Singh, Lalita Sharma, K L Gupta, Hari Singh Chib, Youth Congress leader Parnav Shagotra, Chuni Lal Bhat, Ashwani Puri, S R Sudhir, Ravi Singh Slathia.
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News Updated at : Sunday, December 9, 2012
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