Cong softens stand on 73rd amendment

Jammu, Nov 12: State Congress seems to have softened its stand on the extension of 73rd constitutional amendment in Jammu and Kashmir, a demand which had brought the partners of the ruling coalition on a war path.
“State has its own constitution and we are only demanding empowerment of the Panchayats by incorporating certain provisions of the 73rd amendment of Indian Constitution in J&K,” State Congress chief and MP Prof Saifuddin Soz told media persons here on Monday.
“Issue was not inclusion of the 73rd amendment in toto. We wanted some provisions that would enhance the powers of the Panchayat members,” Soz said, adding, “We will incorporate the required provisions of the Central Act in the State Act after proper consultation.” He said National Conference has no objection to that.
If sources within the party are to be believed, the U-turn by Soz came after Chief Minister Omar Abdullah took up the matter with Congress high command in New Delhi. “Soz has been asked by the party high command not to rack up the issue unnecessarily when National Conference was ready to incorporate the required provisions in the Panchayat Raj Act of the State,” a senior Congress leader, preferring not to be named, said.
Soz had raised the pitch on the 73rd amendment saying the Congress would accept nothing short of extension of the 73rd amendment to Jammu and Kashmir.
Sources said Soz was cautioned by the party high command not to "overstep" his limit. The Congress high command is backing Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and his stand that whatever changes are required would be taken by the State Government itself. Abdullah had ruled out extension of the 73rd amendment to J&K.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 12 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 12 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 13 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST

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