NC, Congress Leaders in Public Spat in J&K

NC, Congress Leaders in Public Spat in J&K
A war of words has erupted among second rung leaders of the two ruling alliance partners in Jammu and Kashmir with an NC MLA criticising the role of Congress on the Kashmir issue, drawing a sharp reaction from that party which reminded him of the 'coalition dharma'.

National Conference leader Mustafa Kamal, who represents Hazratbal in Assembly and is the uncle of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, has come out against the appointment of interlocutors by the central government.

Addressing a party function here on Thursday, Kamal alleged, "Delhi has always betrayed us. The accords and promises made by Delhi were never kept."

The younger brother of Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah also raked up the issue of restoration of greater autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir.

"For them (Centre), autonomy is like a bone that has got stuck in their throat," he alleged. Kamal had also made such remarks in the state assembly last month when the House debated the summer unrest in the Valley.

Taking exception to Kamal's statements, Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) accused the NC leader of trying to create differences between the coalition partners.

"Kamal should understand that it is because of Congress support that they are enjoying power in the state and his brother is a Union Minister in Congress led coalition at Centre," PCC Vice President Ghulam Nabi Monga said.

He said such statements will affect the smooth functioning of coalition government in the state.

Monga also expressed surprise on Kamal's comments about the interlocutors, saying both Omar and his father have hailed their appointment.

"The interlocutors are of high stature and eminent personalities," he added.

While NC leaders have maintained a studied silence on Kamal's comments, the PCC leaders continued their tirade against him.

During a meeting of district presidents of Congress in the Valley here yesterday, the party asked the coalition partner to restraint Kamal from making such statements.

"He (Kamal) should abide by coalition dharma and not disturb it," the PCC said in a statement after the meeting.

Omar yesterday called on Congress President Sonia Gandhi to discuss the functioning of the coalition government and various issues confronting the state including the law and order situation and rehabilitation package for militants.
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