PM’s Doors Open For Talks; Prove Representative Character Through Polls: Soz to Hurriyat

KL Report

SRINAGAR

Claiming that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s doors are open for Hurriyat Conference to hold talks with New Delhi, state Congress President Prof Saifuddin Soz today asked Hurriyat Conference to fight elections to prove their representative character.

“PM has said that doors are open for Hurriyat or anybody else for that matter for holding talks. They (separatists) should not wait for invitations time and again. Ultimately Hurriyat will have to accept electoral process and fight elections to be accepted as leaders. People are gradually coming towards mainstream and they should understand that,” the state Congress President said in an interview with a local news agency, KNS.

Prof Soz conceded that running a coalition has not been an easy job. “Coalition has a lot of problems. We could not even draft a Common Minimum Programme although I had myself tried to write one but had to stop later as it was not possible,” he added

Declining to confirm whether Congress will form next government in coalition with National Conference, Prof Soz said the decision will be taken by the party high command in Delhi. “I can’t say anything about what would happen in 2014. But I will talk to all workers of the party in the state and convey their opinion to Sonia Gandhi in Delhi. It is the high command which will ultimately decide on the matter,” he said and claimed that there are no differences in the coalition at the moment.

The Congress president said his party wants the provisions of 73rd amendment to be incorporated into the state’s own act apart from holding of BDC, District Panchayat Committees and Urban Local Bodies Elections in shortest possible time.

Rejecting the statement of senior NC leader, Ali Muhammad Sagar, Soz said his party is not against holding of the ULB elections. “They are making wrong statements. ULB Minister Nawang Rigzin Jora had told them that we are ready for ULB elections. It is on record.”

Reacting to Dr Karan Singh’s remarks, Prof Soz however, declined to confirm the name of Union Health Minister Gulam Nabi Azad as a possible candidate of the party for the Chief Minister’s post in 2014. “I don’t indulge into such things. There is a vested interest and then there are statistics and performance. Some people want CM from Jammu to hurt people from Kashmir. Legislature will decide who will be the next CM,” Soz said.

Soz also denounced the practice of need based and back door appointment to government jobs. “All the recruitments should happen in a fair and transparent manner. There should be a policy for it which should go through the cabinet.”

Prof Saifuddin Soz said Pakistani people rejected extremists and favoured peace by electing Nawaz Sharief as Prime Minister of the country. He expressed hope that Nawaz Sharief will make friendly relations possible with India as ‘even during election campaign he did not speak against India’.

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