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Congress divided over timing of Assembly polls
1/29/2019 11:00:21 PM

Early Times Report

Jammu, Jan 29: Contrary to the general impression that only BJP was in favour of delaying State Assembly elections, the Congress is also divided over timing of the polls in Jammu and Kashmir.
According to the sources in Congress circles, the party leadership is divided over holding State Assembly elections along with Lok Sabha polls in Jammu and Kashmir even as the call in this regard has to be taken by Election Commission of India.
The incumbent PCC president G A Mir and his faction are in favour of simultaneous polls in Jammu and Kashmir for Lok Sabha and Assembly whereas Ghulam Nabi Azad and his supporters want a slight delay in Assembly elections, sources added.
While elaborating, sources explained that Ghulam Nabi Azad has expressed his inability to lead the party campaign in Jammu Kashmir if Assembly elections were held along with Lok Sabha polls and this is the reason that G A Mir is in favour of simultaneous polls so that he could have all control over the election arrangements as well as the distribution of tickets.
Ghulam Nabi Azad is learnt to have clearly told the State Congressmen, who visited him recently in New Delhi urging to take command of party in J&K for steering it to power in the Assembly elections. However, sources claimed, Azad clearly ruled out the possibility of returning to State politics before Lok Sabha elections, which are most important for him as well as the party high command.
This has disappointed the majority of Congressmen in J&K, who are well aware of the fact that only Ghulam Nabi Azad can steer the party to power in the State and hence they are favouring Assembly polls after Lok Sabha elections, sources said.
On the other hand, sources added, the PCC president G A Mir is taking Azad's compulsion as an opportunity for him. In absence of Azad, the PCC president is understood to get command in Assembly election campaign, more particularly the distribution of party mandate and hence he is pressing for simultaneous polls in J&K, sources explained.
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