Congress rules out coalition with PDP in J-K

Congress rules out coalition with PDP in J-K

Congress on Monday ruled out any possibility of forming a coalition government with the PDP in Jammu & Kashmir amid reports that former chief minister of the state Mehbooba Mufti had been camping here seeking a meeting with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

The AICC's Policy Planning Group on Jammu and Kashmir, chaired by former prime minister Manmohan Singh, had a two-hour meeting here and resolved that the Congress should focus on strengthening the organisation in all the three regions of the state— Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.

A meeting of 100 senior Congress leaders has been called in Srinagar on Tuesday to discuss a future strategy.

Speculation had been rife that the Congress was exploring the possibility of forming government in the state— where the BJP pulled out of the coalition government led by Mehbooba Mufti last month— with the PDP, Independent legislators and the CPI(M) as the coalition members.

“There is no question of any coalition. Our demand has been fresh elections after the situation stabilises in J&K,” Ghulam Ahmed Mir, President of the Jammu and Kashmir Congress told DH after the meeting at Manmohan Singh's residence— 3, Motilal Nehru Marg.

The policy planning group comprises senior leaders Karan Singh, P Chidambaram, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ambika Soni, Rigzin Zora, Tariq Hameed Karra, Shyam Lal Sharma and Mir.

Mir said the party has decided to focus on strengthening its organisational capabilities in all the three regions of the state and earn the goodwill of the people before the Assembly elections.

Mir said the Congress had played its role in 2014 when it offered to form government along with the National Conference and the PDP after the Assembly elections threw up a hung verdict.

“But the situation has changed now. The BJP-PDP government had vitiated the atmosphere in the state. It is now for the governor to take a Constitutional decision,” he said.

Earlier, AICC General Secretary Ambika Soni dismissed the talk of Congress-PDP government in the state as “rumours”.

Ghulam Nabi Azad, former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, had also said that no alliance with the PDP “for now or in the future”.

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