A political storm is brewing between ruling Jammu and Kashmir coalition partners -- the National Conference and the Congress -- over the setting up of new administrative units in the state.
The ruling coalition may split amid indications that Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has threatened to resign and snap alliance with the Congress if the proposal is not approved in the Cabinet meeting scheduled for February 1.
However, sources said Omar, who met the Congress leaders, including party’s J&K Affairs incharge Ambika Soni and Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and other leaders in New Delhi on Monday, has threatened to resign and snap alliance with the Congress.
“It is unfortunate that the exercise (setting up of new administrative units) has taken a long time since June 2013. However, I am determined to complete this important public demand no matter what. I rather reluctantly gave Cabinet Sub-committee (CSC) one week’s extension, but I have told them there will be no further extension,” Omar said.
While the National Conference party is strongly in favour of implementation of Mushtaq Ganai report, the state leadership of the Congress is stonewalling Omar’s cherished project ahead of the April-May Lok Sabha polls and the scheduled Assembly elections in October-November this year. “There has already been delay over its implementation. Every area cannot get new administrative unit,” Omar’s uncle and senior NC minister Mustafa Kamal said.Kamal also said that like so many other issues, the Congress was trying to create hurdles in creation of new administrative units. “It is trying to delay implementation of new units on different pretexts,” he said.
“The Mushtaq Ganai’s report is correct and there should be no delay over its implementation. The Congress should not try to play politics over it and should not delay its implementation,” Kamal said.
When asked about Omar’s resignation, he said: “The Congress should show some responsibility. We are hopeful that the issue would be sorted out amicably.”