Pranab in Valley to drum up support
‘Want Kashmir To Develop Under Constitutional Framework’
Srinagar, July 15: The United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) presidential candidate, Pranab Mukherjee, Sunday said he wants Kashmir to develop under constitutional framework of India.
Mukherjee arrived here today to meet leaders of different political parties ahead of the presidential election on July 19. “I would definitely like to see that this beautiful place (Kashmir) gets its rightful place, (and) it develops to its potential within the parameters of constitutional functioning,” Mukherjee told reporters after meeting legislators and MPs from ruling coalition partners, Congress and National Conference at SKICC here.
“This is my desire to see that the full development potential of this state is exploited,” Mukherjee said.
The former Finance Minister was received by state Congress president Prof Saif-ud-Din Soz at Srinagar airport on his arrival here and welcomed by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah at SKICC where he held meeting with the leaders of the coalition partners.
Mukherjee said he visited different states to express thanks to all the political parties who supported his presidential nomination.
“I have come here, too, in this connection,” said Mukherjee, a senior member of Indian National Congress.
To a question about his views on capital punishment, Mukherjee refused to comment. “I cannot share my personal opinion on it,” he said.
Asked an independent MLA, Engineer Rashid’s memorandum to him seeking clemency to Parliament attack convict, Afzal Guru, Mukherjee refused to comment on it, too.
While Omar has already announced his party’s (NC) support to Mukherjee, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also announced to rally behind the UPA presidential candidate.
National Conference has 28 MLAs, five MPs and support of an independent MP from Ladakh, while Congress has 17 MLAs and four MPs in J&K. PDP has 21 MLAs.
Earlier, during the meeting, members from National Conference and Congress wished Mukherjee success in the presidential election.
Sources said, Omar, National Conference president, Dr Farooq Abdullah, and Prof Soz made brief speeches during the meeting which was responded to by Mukherjee in his address.
“He (Mukherjee) promised to come back to Kashmir once he is elected as President,” the sources said. He was accompanied by several ministers from government of India including Minister of textile, Anand Sharma, Minister in PMO office, V Narayansamy, MOS Parliamentary affairs, Rajive Shukla and others.
Meanwhile, President Democratic Party Nationalist, Ghulam Hassan Mir, CPI-M General Secretary, MY Tarigami and independent MLA Engineer Rashid separately met Mukherjee and assured him of their support.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 15 Jul 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 15 Jul 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 16 Jul 2012 00:00:00 IST
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