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Alliance with NC, PDP a ‘compulsion’, says J&K Congress chief Vikar Rasool

Manzoor-ul-Hassan

Srinagar, Jul 11 : Jammu and Kashmir Congress chief Vikar Rasool said on Thursday that the grand old party was yet to take any decision on the pre-poll alliance for assembly elections with the regional parties of the Union territory like the National Conference (NC) and the People Democratic Party (PDP).

Speaking to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) correspondent—Rasool said the Congress high command had asked the local leader of the J&K to take a call on the alliance only after the elections are announced.

“In a recently held meeting regarding assembly elections, (Mallikarjun) Kharge ji and Rahul Gandhi ji asked the party’s state leadership to decide whether to go for an alliance. Once the elections are announced, we will meet and send the proposal to the high command,” he said.

Rasool said the alliance with the NC and the PDP was a compulsion for the Congress to get the secular votes and keep the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) away in some seats of the Jammu division.

If we don’t ally with regional parties in Chenab Valley seats like Doda, Kishtwar, Bhaderwah, Reasi, and Ramban, secular votes get divided, and we lose to the BJP like we witnessed in the past. So, the alliance becomes a compulsion for us,” he said.

Notably, the NC recently held a two-day marathon meeting of its working committee to decide on a strategy for the assembly polls slated to be held in September. Chaired by NC President Farooq Abdullah, the meeting also discussed a pre-poll alliance with Congress.

After the meeting, NC Vice President Omar Abdullah reportedly said that the pre-poll alliance with Congress was discussed in the meeting, and senior Abdullah will take the final decision about it.

To recall, the NC and Congress contested five seats together in the parliamentary elections in Jammu and Kashmir. NC won two seats in Kashmir and lost one, while Congress lost both seats in Jammu and Udhampur against the BJP—(KNO)

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