J&K Congress in a dilemma over Guru’s execution

KL Report


While the PDP and the NC, two main political rivals, exhausted their energy on berating the centre for carrying out the execution of the parliament attack convict, Afzal Guru, the state unit of the Congress has been placed in a predicament.

Its leaders have avoided commenting on Guru’s execution and they have simply been watching the situation without providing much assistance to Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, who spent all these days in Srinagar to ensure restoration of normalcy to the valley. The valley had been hit by a unruly rallies and demonstrations in protest against the execution of Guru.

Though Omar Abdullah was supposed to toe with Congress line on Guru’s execution but he chose to raise number of points that exposed the mindset of the Congress led UPA Government. All this was done to ensure that the NC vote bank in the Kashmir valley did not suffer erosion. The case with the PDP was the same because believing that its vote bank was stronger in Kashmir than in the Jammu region the PDP leadership accused the NC leadership of laxity in preventing Guru from facing execution. The PDP leadership has stated that had it been in power it would not have allowed Guru’s execution.

But the leadership of the state unit of the Congress finds itself in an embarrassing situation. It can neither go against the policy adopted by the Congress led UPA Government nor can it condemn Guru’s execution which could affect its vote bank in the Jammu region. That has been the reason for those Congress leaders, hailing from the valley, to adopt silence on the issue.

Even after a week of Afzal Guru’s execution and burial in Delhi’s Tihar jail, the Congress leaders in the State have maintained total silence and refused comments on the issue.

J&K Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) chief Saif-u-Din Soz has refused to comment on the issue. There were media reports that some kind of memorandum was submitted to Government of India (GoI) by JKPCC regarding handing over Afzal’s body to his family members. However, all the senior and mid-level party leaders in the state refused to confirm submitting of memorandum to GoI.

“I cannot make a comment on the issue,” said senior Congress leader and Minister for Health Taj Mohi-ud-Din.

His cabinet colleague and newly inducted tourism minister G A Mir’s comments reflected the anxiety Congress leadership feels here when it comes to Guru’s hanging or the demand for his mortal remains by family.

“It is a very sensitive issue. It will be good if Soz speaks on the issue. He is the party head in the state and can comment on the issue,” said Mir.(KIP)


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