Mufti Sayeed in Delhi; last ditch efforts on for JK pre-poll alliance

By News Agency of Kashmir

Srinagar: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mufti Muhammad Sayeed Friday left for New Delhi on an `unscheduled’ visit giving rise to another round of speculation about the possible pre-poll alliance between ruling PDP and Congress for the upcoming assembly elections.

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Visit of Mufti Sayeed to union capital assumes significance amid reports that `last ditch efforts’ were being made – by a strong lobby of both the parties – to foster pre-poll alliance between the two partners in the state government.

Though the PDP patron is said to have distant himself from the 10 Janpath after indications from the Congress high command that it would go alone in the upcoming elections, sources in the party circles told News Agency of Kashmir that a strong lobby in Congress was still persuading both the sides to rethink about the poll strategy so that opposition National Conference may not get benefit out of the `infighting’.

Sources maintained that Mufti Sayeed left for New Delhi on an unscheduled meeting and is expected to meet some Congress leaders. “Back-room efforts were being made in New Delhi, which may culminate in a meeting between AICC chief Sonia Gandhi and Mufti Sayeed”, sources, preferring anonymity told NAK.

They said that Mufti had earlier showed a hardened stand towards the Congress and clearly depicted his annoyance during the recent visit of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to the state.

“Sayeed was invited personally by Water Resources minister Saif-ud-Din Soz and chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad to Jammu for participation in various ceremonies during the PM’s visit but he categorically refused citing his personnel engagements”, sources claimed adding, “Mufti agreed to participate only after national security advisor called him up and requested his presence on behalf of the Prime Minister”.

Whatever may be the reason and result of Mufti’s visit to union capital, bottom-line remains that the visit has giving rise to another round of speculations and given some food for thoughts for the political pundits in the state as well as at the national level.