NC-Congress coalition crumbling after polls

The National Conference-Congress coalition in Jammu and Kashmir is crumbling with leaders from the two parties accusing each other of not working for the success of alliance candidates in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections.

The fissures came to the fore when senior Congress leader and Minister for Medical Education Taj Mohiuddin claimed that some NC workers in Uri had not voted for the party candidate Sharief-ud-Din Shariq.

“National Conference vote share (in Uri) has got divided into two. Fifty per cent of NC activists have voted in favour of (PDP candidate) Muzaffar Hussain Beigh,” Mohiuddin, who represents Uri in the state Assembly, said. The minister's claim drew sharp response from senior NC leader from Uri, Mohammad Shafi, a Rajya Sabha member, who accused Mohiuddin of trying to “cover up his failure”.

“He (Mohiuddin) is simply trying to cover up his failure. Instead of blaming the NC workers, he should have explained how 12 Panchayat representatives affiliated with Congress met Beigh pledging their support in elections,” Shafi alleged. The MP also alleged that senior Congress workers in Uri worked in favour of Salam-ud-Din Bajad, candidate of People's Conference in Baramulla constituency.
Around 20 Congress sarpanches joined the issue and accused Shafi of working against his party’s candidate.

“His (Shafi’s) son was conspicuous by his absence from a public meting addressed by none other than the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. Many NC workers were reported to be working as polling agents of PDP,” the sarpanches said in a joint statement.

The panchayat leaders admitted to meeting with the PDP candidate over tea but claimed that they said a categorical ‘no’ to Beigh’s request for support in view of the directive from Congress high command to work for alliance candidate, Shariq. Several Congress leaders and associates have admitted that the party supporters did not vote en bloc for the National Conference candidates in the three Lok Sabha seats of the Valley.

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