National Conference, Cong decide to go it alone in J-K Assembly polls

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Srinagar: The NC-Congress coalition in Jammu and Kashmir today hit the rocks as the two parties announced that they will go it alone in the Assembly polls in the state due later this year.

Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ambika Soni and Saifuddin Soz announced in Jammu that the party will fight the forthcoming Assembly elections alone and will not enter into any pre-poll alliance.

“After extensive talks with Congress leaders and workers at all levels, the party has come to the conclusion that we are going to fight the forthcoming Assembly elections on our own strength”, Soni, General-Secretary AICC and in-charge of J&K Congress, told presspersons.

“We will put up candidates or support some of the traditional alliance candidates on all the 87 seats in J&K alone,” she said.

Minutes later, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who is working President of the National Conference, took to social media to announce that he had informed Congress President Sonia Gandhi 10 days ago that there will be no pre-poll alliance in the State.

“I met Mrs Gandhi 10 days ago and thanked her for all her support. I conveyed NC’s decision to fight the elections alone,” Omar said on Twitter.

He said he explained the reasons to the Congress President for not entering into a pre—poll alliance “but also told her I wouldn’t be making a public announcement because I didn’t want it to look opportunistic.

“For it to be spun now as a Cong decision is wrong and a complete distortion of the facts, not surprising but incorrect nonetheless,” he added.

Soni, who was flanked by Azad and JKPCC chief Soz, said, “Most of the wokers and leaders of Congress wanted us to go alone in elections”.

The votes in the Lok Sabha elections were not transferred to each other resulting in the debacle, she said, adding, “There was not much of help that came from our alliance partner in previous elections”.

Azad said the party wants to emerge as the single largest party in the state and it will focus on completing pending projects in the State.

The National Conference and Congress entered into a post-poll alliance following a hung verdict in the 2008 Assembly elections in the State.