Coalition Crisis in JK Govt Comes to an End, State Cabinet Sees Peaceful Meeting
The crisis in the coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir is over and, as expected, there was no drama in the State Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, after the Cabinet Sub Committee (CSC) formed by him on the creation of new administrative units submitted its report in Jammu on Saturday.
“The alliance between the Congress and National Conference (NC) is strong and the coalition government will continue functioning till the last day of its 6-year term,” Omar told reporters here, after chairing a cabinet meeting this afternoon.
He had, earlier this week, held meetings with Congress leaders in Delhi and threatened to snap ties with the Congress in case the party’s Ministers, who were a part of the Cabinet Sub Committee, did not cooperate and submit the report on the creation of new administrative units in the state on the February 1 cabinet meeting.
The Cabinet Sub Committee, which was headed by senior Congress leader and Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand, submitted its report on the creation of new administrative units to the Cabinet after two sittings last evening. After deliberations the cabinet accepted the recommendations of the CSC report, which has proposed the setting up of 659 new administrative units including 46 sub divisions, 135 tehsils, 177 CD Blocks, 301 niabats.
Describing the NC’s alliance with the Congress as strong, Omar said, “The coalition is working well. The two parties have proved today that they can iron out differences and work together for the welfare of the people”.
He said the present coalition government in the state was stronger than the previous ones. “The NC-Congress coalition has faced some hurdles and difficulties and sorted out these amicably. We are a strong coalition.”
When asked about differences with the Congress and his threat to snap ties with the party, Omar said: “The result is important. It is important that we have jointly approved setting up of new administrative units in the state.”
He also thanked Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi and others for supporting him in the creation of new administration units in the state.
Terming the decision on the creation of new administrative units historic, Omar said, “It is a historic decision taken by the state Cabinet, which has asked the planning commission and finance department to take necessary actions in this regard.” He claimed that the state exchequer would not have to bear any extra burden by the creation of new administrative units.
Omar’s party was in favour of adopting the Ganai report on creation of new administration, which was submitted to the government in July 2011.
However, the Congress was averse to it, saying many areas in the state were ignored and new administrative units should be set up on the basis of equity and justice.
The conflicting views lead to the stand-off and it was resolved after the Congress Ministers in the J&K Cabinet were told by their party high command to go soft on the issue and allow the submission of the report in the Cabinet. Before Saturday’s crucial cabinet meeting, Omar chaired a core group meeting of the National Conference here.
“During the meeting, Omar spoke about his meeting with Congress leaders in Delhi. He told his partymen that a crisis was averted after the intervention of the Congress high command, which prompted the party’s Ministers in the state to soften their stand and prepare the CSC report,” said a senior NC leader, who was present at the meeting.