Congress wants to emerge as single largest party in J&K elections: Soni

Congress wants to emerge as single largest party in J&K elections: Soni

'Sonia Gandhi to take final call on pre-poll alliance'

Congress will emerge as the single largest party after the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly polls and AICC chief Sonia Gandhi will take a call on any pre-poll alliance, All India Congress Committee general secretary Ambika Soni said here on Tuesday.

“We are going to the elections with the aim to be not only the single largest party in the state but to give a Congress government,” Soni told reporters here after assessing reasons for the party’s defeat in parliamentary polls.

She is on a two-day visit to the state.

After chairing a crucial meet of J&K Congress here, presided over by the party’s J&K chief Saif-ud-Din Soz with party stalwart Ghulam Nabi Azad in the chair, Soni said she will submit a detailed report about the feedback she got from the state to Sonia Gandhi.

“I along with Azad sahib and Soz sahib will put forward the (assessment) report before the Congress president, who will take a final decision on whether the party should contest elections separately or forge an alliance with any party,” she said.

On whether the Congress-National Conference coalition government will last its full term, she said, “We always hope that an elected government completes its full term because the mandate of the people is for a fixed term. Congress has always held that the government that is elected to office should fulfill the manifesto that they gave for getting elected. This is our general commitment.”

Earlier, sources told Deccan Herald that the J&K Congress failed to evolve a consensus on issues like who would lead the party in the Assembly elections, and whether there should be a pre-poll alliance, forcing Soni to hold one-to-one meetings with party members to get their views.

The state Congress leaders asserted that the party must work under a “single leadership” to ensure a “comeback” in the Assembly polls.

“While some party men asserted that Congress will flourish only under the leadership of Soz, others put their weight behind Azad, terming him a leader of the masses,” sources said.

Soni was deputed to Kashmir by Sonia Gandhi to gauge the mood and to check the party’s strength ahead of crucial Assembly polls.