The rift in the NC-Congress alliance over the AFSPA issue deepened today with Saifuddin Soz accusing Chief Minister Omar Abdullah of not consulting his party for evolving a consensus before unilaterally announcing that the Act would be revoked from some areas in J-K.
“What reaction will he (Omar) give? He should have raised the issue (scrapping of ASFPA) in a state cabinet meeting. This was not on the agenda of Coordination Committee. So there was no meeting,” Soz told reporters in an informal chat on the sidelines of ‘Diwali Milan’ here last night.
Soz was posed with queries on calling of Coordination Committee meeting to discuss the issue, Omar’s reply to his points and consultations over the revocation decision of Armed Forces Special Powers Act. “Omar should have talked to me (as CC chairman) over the issue. He is not given to consultation,” Soz alleged.
“There should have been consensus over the sensitive issue,” the J-K Congress chief said, adding that coalition partner, state cabinet, Coordination Committee, Union Home Ministry, Defence ministry and army should have been taken on board over the issue. Taking a dig at the ‘return and rehabilitation policy’ announced by the state government, Soz said, “Eight months ago they said they will rehabilitate them (Kashmiri youth in PoK).
Have they rehabilitated anyone?” “I told them that their (Kashmiri youth in PoK) rehabilitation cannot happen. But they said it will be so. I was in disagreement with them for various reasons,” he said. One of the reason was that we have not solved the (internal) problems of refugees of so many categories (within J&K), he said. “I have told them they are not serious over the issue. There are so many implications on this package,” he said.
The Congress leader also raised the issue of panchayat polls, saying gains of the best panchayat election have been wasted away due to the state government’s failure to empower panchayati system.
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