In what could be termed as a significant political development, the state Congress Chief Saifd ud din Soz Sunday indicated that his party has kept its options open to form a coalition with either National Conference or Peoples Democratic Party after 2014 elections.
In response to a specific question as to which party would the Congress form coalition with, Soz said, “It will be premature to speak on the issue. When the time comes, we will hold deliberations on the issue. We will ponder over it here in the state and it will be discussed in Delhi after which the High Command will take the decision”, Soz told media person on the sidelines of a function held at the Congress headquarters here. “People matter and everyone will have to accept their verdict”, he added.
Soz dismissed the notion that Panchayat representatives in the state were facing any kind of security threat. “Panchs and Sarpanchs are not facing any threat. There were some incidents (of attacks) but it is being exaggerated. Lasting peace is the need of the hour and peace has returned to the valley. We have been organizing public gatherings in many parts of the valley including Baramulla and people are coming to listen to us”, Soz said while speaking to media person here soon after returning from Delhi. It was his first valley visit after being reelected as the JKPCC President. However, he reasserted the need for empowerment of the Panchayati Raj Institutions. “Some people had taken to violent means but they are returning to peace”, he added.
He termed the shifting of Kashmiri youth, recently acquitted by courts in Lajpat Nagar blast case to Jodhpur as unfortunate. He called for action against police officers for ‘dereliction of duty and inefficiency’ in falsely booking the youth.
“I have written to the Prime Minister and met the Home Minister for seeking release of the youth”, he said and added that people should contact the grievance cell in case they feel any threat outside the state.
According to KNS, Soz said Public Safety Act (PSA) is a more dangerous law than the AFSPA.
However, he said AFSPA is a temporary law. “We had said that everybody should be consulted before taking a decision of revocation of the act. Consultations have been completed and a decision has to be taken at the central level and we feel that now is the time that they should take the decision”, he added.
In response to a question, Soz said they are following the Healing touch policy of former Chief Minister and PDP Patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed. “That policy should be taken forward. There should be more progress in that direction and we are moving on the same road”, he said.
The Congress Chief reiterated that his party was not ready to work as a ‘B Team’ in the state government after upcoming elections. “We believe in equality and equity, so there is no question of working as a “B Team”. However, after the elections any party including NC and PDP can stake claim to form government but we believe that Congress will emerge as the largest party”, he added.
However, Soz dismissed reports of rift or wedge in the coalition. “There is no rift or wedge in the coalition. I am the chairman of the coordination committee and I have asked for early election to urban local bodies, preferably in June. Congress is ready for the elections”, he said.
Soz said Political issues cannot be resolved through violence or gun. “Peace and dialogue are the only option for resolving issues”, he said
He called for internal dialogue between political parties to create better political atmosphere in the state. “We need to win and restore people’s confidence”, he added.