National Conference keeps UPA guessing on support


Srinagar : The National Conference, the main opposition party in Jammu and Kashmir, Tuesday authorised its president Omar Abdullah to take a final decision on support to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government during the July 22 trust vote.

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The National Conference has two members in the Lok Sabha. Each vote will be crucial for the survival of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government.

The core group of National Conference leaders, including Omar Abdullah, met here Tuesday and held a detailed discussion on whether or not the party should support Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the trust vote in parliament.

“The question of supporting the UPA government during the trust vote is linked to the India-US nuclear deal,” Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly Abdul Rahim Rather told reporters after the meeting.

“We discussed the matter and it was decided to authorise the party president, Omar Abdullah, to take a final decision on the issue,” Rather said.

Asked when the party president would announce the decision, he said: “It is only July 15 today. There are some days left before the Lok Sabha meets for the trust vote. Omar Sahib would announce his decision very soon.”

Asked whether the National Conference was seeking some assurances or concessions from the Congress before it made up its mind on the crucial vote, Rather said: “We have never looked for concessions in the past nor do we believe in the politics of concessions. Our decision would be in the best interest of the people of the state.”