SRINAGAR, Mar 13: A day after Congress President Rahul Ghandi formally declined Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s pre-poll alliance offer, the party has opened negotiations with National Conference in Jammu and Kashmir with both parties almost agreeing to field joint candidates on three seats each.
Quoting sources in the state Congress a local news gathering agency RNA said, that a final round of talks would be held this evening between the top leaderships in New Delhi and it was likely that both would come to a consensus during the meeting. A senior leader of JPCC said that the bone of contention however, between the two parties is the Jammu-Kathua seat. He said National Conference wants to get Jammu and give Anantnag to Congress in return, whereas Congress wants Jammu and is willing to leave Anantnag for NC.
“We have almost reached to final stage of negotiations. As per the initial proposal National Conference would be fielding candidates from Srinagar and Baramulla , whereas Congress would be given Ladakh, Dooda-Udampur . We have differences on Jammu-Kathua and Anantnag seats. We want them (NC) to contest from Anantnag and leave Jammu for us which they are not agreeing upon as of now.” A senior JKPCC leader told RNA, adding that a final meeting of the two leaderships would be taking places this evening in order to arrive at some conclusion. He however, added that Congress was unwilling to leave Jammu-Kathua seat for NC.
Meanwhile JKPCC leaders from South Kashmir have urged Party High command not to go for pre-poll alliance in LS elections only and said both parties should announce alliance for assembly elections also.
JKPCC Senior Vice-President Mohaammd Anwar Khan and former MLA Mohamamd Amin Bhat told RNA that if there is any alliance at all, between Congress and National Conference, it should be for both LS and Assembly.
“We can’t have an alliance which benefits National conference only, let there be alliance for both LS and assembly. Only then should our leadership move forward.” M. Amin Bhat told RNA, adding that the two leaderships are meeting this evening in New Delhi where the things would be given a final shape.
Meanwhile National conference provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani was unavailable for his comments. “I am in meeting, will call you back.” . Wani told RNA, when requested about his comment about the latest developments.