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Congress not sure about alliance with regional parties in J&K

NewsCongress not sure about alliance with regional parties in J&K

NEW DELHI: Congress has mapped out its alliance partners in all the election bound states (Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand) except in Jammu and Kashmir. Sources suggest that there have been no talks between Congress and regional parties such as National Conference and People’s Democratic Party, in order to form a political alliance.

In a meeting held recently, Rahul Gandhi told the state leadership of Jammu and Kashmir that the high command will take cognisance of the feedback on whether they should form an alliance or not, from top leaders in the state but they should, however, substantiate their willingness over the formation of the alliance with regional parties. A leader present in the meeting said, “It is not that state leadership will decide with whom to form an alliance. Although, the leadership has been given space to conceive the next move for elections, Rahul has also said that the high command can also veto the decision if they do not find the decision beneficial.”

Although the top leaders in Congress are aware of the presence of a wider cadre base of NC, it would damage its electoral prospects on a number of seats as they are known to be NC bastions, some leaders suggest that the party should contest alone on majority seats and yet avoid nominating candidates on some strong regional belts of NC. A political observer said, “If Congress leaves a dozen seats in Kashmir without nominating a candidate, it will not split votes and therefore, will not allow space to those parties to win who are seen as BJP proxies. In Jammu, it’s a different region and different demography, and this time there will majorly be a battle between two national parties and Congress party can do good there as well.” The Kashmir Valley has 47 Assembly seats and the Jammu region has 43 Assembly seats.

Former Member of Parliament and Congress Working Committee member Tariq Hameed Karra said, “We have been getting amplified responses from the people of Kashmir after Rahul Gandhi’s iconic Bharat Jodo Yatra, and his demand in the state has surprisingly increased a lot. This is the first time in the history of Kashmir when people of the valley have connected with a national leader more than any regional leader.”

Asked about the importance of Rahul Gandhi in the upcoming Assembly elections in J&K, he said, “The People of Jammu and Kashmir see a ray of hope in Rahul Gandhi, as they feel that he has bravely defended the minorities at a time when their voice was silenced. There has been no star leader who has talked about issues regarding Kashmir, Rahul Gandhi came to Kashmir to talk to common people, Kashmiris came up to interact with him, to appreciate him, so that they can show affection towards the leader who they hope, can bring them out of their socio-economic political plight.”

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