Cong workers want party to fight polls on its own in J&K: Soz
Srinagar: J&K Congress unit chief Saifuddin Soz on Sunday said the party workers in the state want that it should contest polls on its own and he will convey their sentiments to the high command which will take the final decision on any tie-up.
He said he wanted "a friendly match between the parties here" and gave enough hints that he would be in the race for chief ministership.
"I am not saying that we should not have a pre-poll alliance for the parliamentary or assembly elections, but that there is a general feeling among the workers of Congress party that we should fight the polls on our own. They have shared their feelings with me and I would convey the same to the high command," Soz, whose party is running a coalition with National Conference, said.
While Lok Sabha polls are slated for April-May, J-K assembly election is due late this year.
"There would be consultations with the high command first. I want a friendly match between the parties here rather than a competition in the elections. It should be a free and fair election, where the compulsions of the parties would be few and the feelings of people will work. However, it is not the final view of the party," Soz told reporters on the sidelines of a function.
He said he would "take the feelings" of the workers to the high command and then "see what happens".
"Ambika Soni is the party in-charge and Ghulam Nabi Azad also has a vote in this. We will meet Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and we will take the voice of the people to the screening committee and core group of the party," he said.
Asked whether the workers were in favour of an alliance
with National Conference (NC) or Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Soz evaded a direct reply saying he was hopeful that Congress would become the single largest party after the elections.
"The process of elections should be free, without rigging... People should vote honourably and independently and after that friendly match, Congress can be a single largest party or lead a coalition. It is the workers who would then decide which way to go," he said.
Asked if he harboured ambition of becoming the chief minister of the state, Soz said, "I will do whatever I am asked to do. Everyone who is in politics has ambition. I am telling the people of the state that whatever I will be asked to do, I will do that and I have the ability and desire to do that."
Many political figures and trade union leaders joined the party on the occasion, including son of a former minister in PDP-led government.
Manzoor Ahmad Zargar, son of late Abdul Aziz Zargar who was a PDP minister, joined the party describing it as his "home-coming".
The chairman of ?Chopan? (shepherd) Welfare Association in the valley, Gul Rehman, also joined the party along with his daughter Aneesa Gul.
An ex-MLA, Abdul Gani Naseem from Budgam, belonging to the ruling NC was also welcomed into the party fold.
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