NC-Cong Confrontation Likely To Cast Shadow On Conduct Of ULB Polls

KL Report

SRINAGAR

With relations between coalition partners in state government – National Conference and Congress – having reached an all time low, National Conference is mulling to resist its ally’s demand of holding the Urban Local Bodies (ULB) elections in the month of June fearing that the simmering anger in the aftermath of Afzal Guru hanging may scuttle chances of NC win in the valley.

The Panchayti Raj Ministry headed by senior NC Minister has instead expressed favored conducting of BDC polls. The Ministry is believed to have submitted a report to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah who is likely to send it to the coalition Coordination Committee before taking it to Cabinet for the final approval of dates.Ali Muhammad Sagar

However the sources in the Political establishment are apprehensive about the possibility of BDC or ULB elections in the near future.

“The government is caught in a catch 22 situation. Since the tourism season has already begun and there is every possibility of situation worsening in valley in wake of the polls. On the other hand, they have the parliament elections approaching in February which has put them in a tight spot”, informed sources told KNS.

A senior Politician wishing not to be named told KNS that recent confrontational approach between the two coalition parties is also an impediment for both the parties in the government to contest the elections jointly.

“I don’t see any possibility of these elections actually taking place in near future. They all may be claiming of being ready, but in the heart of the hearts they know, there are impediments which would definitely come in way of arriving to a final consensus”, a senior leader of ruling National Conference told KNS on the condition of anonymity.

He added that there was a well planed strategy from Congress on the issue and said, “Congress wants to kill the chances of a win for NC in wake of Afzal Guru Hanging.”

“They know, people are angry in valley on Afzal Guru’s hanging, and their (Congress) vote bank is actually in Jammu where people appreciate the hanging. So, it is clear why they insist on conducting the Polls in June”, claimed the NC leader.

A senior Minster in the Omar Abdullah Cabinet also said that he was not sure of the local bodies’ elections actually taking place ‘at least in near future’.

“No, there is no chance  of the elections being held in coming days or months. The coalition partners are at logger heads with each other, how would they stand jointly in elections when they don’t like each other”, the Minster told KNS.

Meanwhile highly placed Sources in the Govt. told KNS that the Panchayti Raj Ministry has submitted its report for the conduct of BDC polls to Chief Minster who would take it to the Cabinet.

“The final dates would be first discussed in the NC-Congress coordination committee and then would be approved in the cabinet”, sources told KNS. They added that the Ministry has suggested the month of June or July for conducting the Polls.

Meanwhile  Panchayti  Raj Minister Ali Mohamamd Sagar while confirming to KNS about the submission of report told that the department was ready for the Polls.

“We are ready for the Polls and have submitted the report to CM. It is now upto the cabinet to decide about the final dates”, Sagar told KNS on Sunday evening.

Incidentally, the matter is also likely to come up for final deliberation in the NC-Congress Coordination Committee which is taking place in a couple of days from now.

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