‘Kargil War’ Hots Up

Coordination Committee fails to break ice

NC leader says ‘Congress can go’


Srinagar, Sep 6: The row over formation of new Kargil Autonomous Hill Development Council (KAHDC) Friday intensified as the emergency meeting of Coalition Coordination Committee (CCC) failed to break any ice on the nomination of four members.
Pradesh Congress Committee chief Prof Saifudin Soz had convened the meeting after State unit of the Congress termed the nomination of four councilors by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah as “unethical and unconstitutional.”
However, in the CCC meet, the NC leaders put their full weight behind the decision taken by the Chief Minister. Sources said NC leaders also gave references from the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council Act 1995.
They said NC leaders urged the Congress leadership to let both the parties run the KAHDC on coalition basis—two-and-a half years each to Congress and NC - something that was out-rightly rejected by Congress.
The meeting held at Guest House, Church Lane here, remained inconclusive over the issue despite hectic efforts by NC leaders to cool the tempers of its ally. The Congress, besides Soz, was represented by Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand and Haj and Auqaf Minister Peerzada Muhammad Sayeed. The NC was represented by Finance Minister Abdur Rahim Rather, Ali Muhammad Sagar and Chowdhary Muhammad Ramzan.
Sources said the leaders of both the parties could not break the ice over the contentious issue of four nominations. “We put forth our point of view in the meeting that we haven’t violated any rule. We even quoted references from the LAHDC Act 1995 as far nomination of four members into the Council is concerned,” said a senior NC Minister, who was present in the meeting. “We even urged the Congress leaders let’s have coalition in the Council, but they didn’t accept our proposal.”
A senior NC leader said the party has clear intentions. “It is up to our alliance partner Congress now how they will react,” the NC leader said on the condition of anonymity. He was however quick to add: “If Congress feels so troubled, it can part ways and take its own route.”
Interestingly, NC Additional General Secretary Sheikh Mustafa Kamaal had told this newspaper on Thursday that both the parties have worked out an arrangement already— four nominated seats to rest with Congress in Leh while four such seats would stay with NC in Kargil.
What has irked the Congress is the fact that NC played a smart card with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah nominating four ‘NC men’ into the Council on Saturday to take NC’s total strength to 15. Congress already had 15 members and had sought proper permission from the Deputy Commissioner Kargil, Fida Hussain for oath ceremony and subsequent formation of the KAHDC on September 5.
The fissures between NC and Congress have cast shadow over the oath ceremony of KAHDC Councilors, slated for September 7. All 30 Councilors of the new Council are supposed to take oath at a time. Sources said if NC-Congress fail to resolve the issue, the oath ceremony is due to be re-scheduled. “It is mandatory for all the councilors to take oath simultaneously,” sources said.
The Kargil Council elections were held on August 22 and its results gave a fractured mandate—Congress 10 seats, NC eight while Independents too managed eight seats of which five went to Congress leaving NC with 11. With Chief Minister nominating four more members into the Council, NC claimed 15 members, a tie of sorts. Congress termed it as a deception by the NC to sabotage Congress plans of leading the Hill Council.
Meanwhile, dozens of Congress supporters from Kargil are camping in Congress headquarters here. According to Congress sources, they have conveyed their views to PCC chief that they were not in favour of alliance with NC.

Lastupdate on : Fri, 6 Sep 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 6 Sep 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 7 Sep 2013 00:00:00 IST

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