Coalition panel to meet on Monday

PDP Core Group Meets To Devise Strategy; Third Front To Join The Fray

Publish Date: Nov 11 2012 12:00PM

Srinagar, Nov 10: The Coalition Coordination Committee (CC) of the National Conference and Congress would meet on Monday to discuss the strategy for contesting the upcoming polls to four Legislative Council seats reserved for Panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir.
State Congress president Prof Saif-ud-Din Soz, who is the chairman of CC has called the meeting on Monday at Jammu.
“The meeting will discuss the strategy for contesting LC polls. Obviously, the seat sharing pattern would come up for the discussion”, a senior Congress member said. Senior NC leader Choudhary Ramzan said the meeting would be held at 10 am in Jammu.
“It will discuss how to make coalition strong particularly in view of the upcoming LC polls,” said Ramzan, who is member of CC.
Another NC member said once the coalition partners decide on contesting elections it would be followed by mobilization of the party cadres including Panchs and Sarpanchs at grassroots to prepare for the polls.
This is for the first time in past more than three decades that the four Panchayat seats reserved for Panchayats would be filled up in the Upper House.
Two seats each are reserved for Kashmir and Jammu regions.
The polls would be held on December 3, the notifications for which were issued on Friday.  The results will be declared on December 8. Around 35000 Sarpanchs and Panchs will form the Electoral College for these elections.
Each of the Panchayat members would cast two votes in their respective division. Two candidates each in both the divisions securing highest number of votes would be declared the winner.
Pertinently, ahead of the CC meeting, the Congress has called its legislature party meeting on Sunday.
“There will be deliberations on framing up the strategy for polls,” said a senior Congress member.
He said party ministers, MLAs, MLCs and other top Congress functionaries would attend the meeting.
“Directions will be issued to the party leader to gear up the party workers at grassroots,” said a Congress member.
Meanwhile, the two committees- one each in Jammu and Kashmir divisions- set up by the JK Congress President to recommend measures for implementation of the provision of the 73rd amendment in the JK Panchayat Raj Act were finalizing the assigned task.
“We have almost finalized the work,” said head of one of the committees. “Once the report is submitted to the party, it will be deliberated upon within the Congress ahead of taking it up with the National Conference for its implementation.”
He said the Congress does not want any confrontation with its coalition partner and every issue would be solved with “consensus”.
KNS adds: Meanwhile, quoting sources, Local news gathering agency KNS reports that Congress is keen on fighting one of the two MLC seats reserved for Kashmir region while NC is adamant on fighting both seats from the Valley, leaving two seats in Jammu for Congress.
“The issue is going to be the bone of contention during the upcoming CC meeting as the NC is reluctant to leave one the two Valley seats for Congress”, the sources added.
Meanwhile, PDP patron, Mufti Muhammad Syed Saturday convened a meeting of the party core group at his residence to discuss the party’s strategy for contesting the LC elections, sources said. They told KNS that PDP is contemplating to contest from all the four seats including the two seats in Jammu region.
In another interesting turn of events, the much talked about Third Front in the state politics is also fielding its candidates for the LC seats.
Peoples Democratic Front (PDF) chairman, Hakim Yasin told KNS that the parties in the Third Front will field their candidates for fighting the elections.
“We will fight the elections and field common candidates with the 2014 elections in view. We will not repeat our mistakes”, Yasin said.
Pertinently, he had earlier rued the fact that the smaller parties did not contest the 2008 elections jointly, calling it a historical blunder.
According to sources PDF Chairman Hakim Yasin, CPI (M) state secretary M Y Tarigami and DPN President and Agriculture Minister Ghulam Hassan Mir Friday held a meeting to discuss the issue of fighting the elections jointly. “They have decided to contest the elections on their own”, the sources said.
Political activities, across the spectrum are heating up at different levels with the parties trying to grab maximum vote share from among the panchs and sarpanchs.
In this context, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Ali Muhammad Sagar and senior Vice President of the Congress Party, Ghulam Nabi Monga today met at the former’s residence to discuss various issues including BDC and MLC elections.