High command to decide on rotational CM: Rahul Gandhi
‘Have Told JK Govt To Empower Panchayats’
GK NEWS NETWORK
Jammu, Sep 27: All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Rahul Gandhi Tuesday said the party high command would take the final call on the demand for rotational Chief Minister in Jammu and Kashmir.
“I am not here to support or oppose the Chief Minister (Omar Abdullah). I have come here to talk about National Students Union of India (NSUI) and Youth Congress. As far as the demand for rotational Chief Minister (in J&K) is concerned, it is to be decided by the party high command. I have nothing more to say on it,” Gandhi said while responding to a query by a student during an interactive session with the youth at a banquet hall here.
“Rahul responded in a ticklish manner when a student asked why he always shields Chief Minister Omar Abdullah who had repeatedly been making controversial statements. The student asked him whether Congress has any plan for rotational chief ministership in Jammu and Kashmir after January 2012. He (Rahul) said the final decision is to be taken by the party high command and he is not here to support or oppose Omar Abdullah,” a NSUI leader, who was present at the interaction, told Greater Kashmir.
Rahul favoured empowerment of Panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir in line with the Central Panchayati Raj Act.
Addressing a meeting of Sarpanchs and Panchs here, Rahul said newly-elected Sarpanchs and Panchs in the state should be given more responsibilities and powers.
“It is most important that Sarpanchs and Panchs get their rights. They are given responsibilities to ensure development at the grassroots level,” he told the meeting.
“I have already told about this to Saif-ud-Din Soz (JKPCC (chief), Mohan Parkash (AICC incharge J&K) and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah,” Gandhi said.
The Congress General Secretary was commenting on demands of Congress leaders for implementation of the 73rd and the 74th amendment of the Panchayati Raj Act to empower Panchayats in decision-making and financial matters in accordance with the Central Panchayati Raj Act.
Meanwhile, a number of Panchs and Sarpanchs held protest outside Gurjar Desh Charitable Tust, the venue of Rahul Gandhi’s function here, for not being allowed to meet him by local Congress leaders.
During, his tour to border town of Rajouri, where Gandhi addressed a gathering of Panchayat heads, he hailed the people of border districts for their fight against militancy and said that he has come to Jammu and Kashmir as a friend of the youth, to understand their views on various issues.
He promised to take up with the central government the demand for a rail link to the border districts of Rajouri and Poonch.
Gandhi concluded his two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir after holding separate interactions with Panchs and Sarpanchs of Rajouri, Poonch and Jammu districts. He also addressed the potential candidates for upcoming PYC elections and NSUI activists.
Sources said the demand for change of guard was raised by PYC activists, Panchs and Sarpanchs who impressed upon the party general secretary for change of guard in the state with Congress leading the coalition government for the next three years.
Earlier, Gandhi arrived here to a rousing reception on the second and final leg of his two-day visit to the state. Hundreds of Congress and Youth Congress workers lined up on both sides of the road - right from the airport to the guest house in the city.
Rahul started his two-day visit to the state Monday by first visiting Kargil in cold desert area of Ladakh and then Srinagar. The hallmark of his visit has been his interaction with Kashmir University students when he identified himself with their “pain and suffering”.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 27 Sep 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 27 Sep 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 28 Sep 2011 00:00:00 IST
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