Cong being isolated NC splits; NCP next
Ahead of the crucial next round of Assembly elections in J&K and Maharashtra, Congress seems to face political isolation.
- Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah snaps ties with the Congress and conveys the same to Congress president Sonia Gandhi
- In Maharashtra, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) of Sharad Pawar is also flexing its muscle by demanding more seats and threatening to go it alone
New Delhi: Ahead of the crucial next round of Assembly elections in J&K and Maharashtra, Congress seems to face political isolation.
In J&K, the National Conference (NC) of Omar Abdullah snapped its ties with the Congress and conveyed the same to Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
In Maharashtra, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) of Sharad Pawar is also flexing its muscle by demanding more seats and threatening to go it alone.
The NC and the Congress ties soured, following the shocking rout in the Lok Sabha elections in May. The Congress lost all the three seats it fought in alliance with the NC, as the BJP made significant inroads. Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is also a former J&K CM, at a day-long convention, was told by party workers of their unhappiness over the alliance with NC. In the 87-member J&K Assembly, Congress has 17 MLAs.
The J&K Congress Convention, which was planned ahead of the J&K Assembly elections, was attended by AICC General Secretary incharge of J&K Ambika Soni and J&K PCC President Saifuddin Soz. Azad took the decision to go it alone, which was endorsed by Ambika Soni and Saifuddin Soz. The Congress will either contest all the 87 seats on its own, or back independents.
The polls are due in November.
J&K CM Omar said that it was his NC’s decision to go it alone.
In a tweet, Omar said, “I met Sonai 10 days ago and thanked her for all her support. I conveyed NC's decision to fight the coming elections alone.
I explained the reasons but also told her I would not be making a public announcement because I did not want it to look opportunistic. For it to be spun now as a Congress decision is wrong & complete distortion of facts, not surprising but incorrect none the less.”
Meanwhile, NCP leader Sharad Pawar, who is showing signs of warming up to the BJP, is queering the pitch of the Congress in Maharashtra right ahead of the State Assembly elections. On the one hand, he demanded the ouster of Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and when his gamble failed, he is openly making things difficult by raising his seats demand far too high. It may be recalled that on the TRAI (Amendment) Bill, 2014, he supported the BJP and Pawar has even called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently.