Soni discusses Cong poll strategy in J&K

 Congress party’s Jammu and Kashmir Affairs in-charge Ambika Soni discussed party’s strategy for upcoming Assembly polls in the state with the state Congress leaders here on Monday.

Sources told Deccan Herald that Soni discussed about mandates and pre-poll alliance for upcoming Assembly polls in the state with the party leaders.

A party statement said, Soni, who had been deputed by Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi to Kashmir, cautioned the cadres about the danger posed by the communal and divisive forces and asked them to gear up for the forth-coming Assembly elections.

Sources said following deliberations of the State Congress leaders with the Congress high command in New Delhi recently, Gandhi had asked Soni to visit Kashmir.

Interestingly, she arrived in Kashmir just two days after Congress stalwart and former Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad knocked the door of opposition Peoples Democratic Party patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed for a pre-poll alliance in the Assembly polls. The PDP, however, is cold to the idea as of now.

Sources said during today’s meeting call on how to part ways with alliance partner National Conference, which has been one of the major demands from the Congress grassroots workers, was discussed.

“The state Congress leaders demanded the party should go alone in the Assembly polls and end the alliance with NC in the interest of the party,” they said and added State Congress chief Saif-ud-Din Soz and Azad have already briefed Gandhi about the political developments in Jammu and Kashmir following the party’s debacle in the parliamentary polls where it drew a blank along with its alliance partner NC while the opposition PDP and rightwing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won three seats each.

The sources said Soz had also handed over a list of party’s probable candidates for LA polls to the Congress chairperson. “After Soni returns from the State with the feedback of the party leaders, Gandhi would soon take the final decision on a pre-poll alliance between Congress and NC and also finalize the list of candidates who would contest LA polls from J&K,” they said.

Sources added the Congress chairperson would most likely announce that the party would go it alone in the LA polls and also announce that it would field candidates for  87 assembly segments of the State.

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