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‘Congress a crucial political factor in J&K’


Jammu: Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief Saif-ud-Din Soz Monday said the Congress would be a crucial political factor in the politics of Jammu and Kashmir in the 2014 assembly elections.

Addressing a public meeting at Hiranagar in district Kathua, 60 km south of Jammu, Soz said the Congress would emerge as the “largest political force in the state and will be a crucial factor in the politics of the state in the 2014 assembly elections”.

Ever since his re-appointment as PCC chief early this month, Soz has taken an aggressive stance against other political parties, including Congress ally National Conference.

The Congress has 17 seats in the legislative assembly of 87. It has been ruling the state in partnership with the National Conference (NC) since January 2009.

But of late, strong differences have surfaced between the two parties over the issues of the restoration of autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir.

While the NC is pitching for autonomy, the Congress is opposed to it.

The two parties are also reading from two scripts on the issue of the revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

The NC blames the army for playing “spoilsport” in J&K, while the Congress maintains that the “army is an important stake holder”.

Soz said: “The people of Kashmir have rejected violence and have joined the mainstream to ensure peace, development and secure the future of their children.”