Fresh strain in NC-Cong ties over AFSPA

CM Omar Abdullah on Thursday questioned the authority of Jammu and Kashmir PCC chief Saifuddin Soz to speak on behalf of Rahul Gandhi.

Last Updated: Nov 10, 2011, 18:12 PM IST

Srinagar: In signs of fresh strain between
coalition partners NC and Congress, Chief Minister Omar
Abdullah on Thursday questioned the authority of Jammu and Kashmir
PCC chief Saifuddin Soz to speak on behalf of Rahul Gandhi.
"I don`t know whether Soz sahab is authorised to speak on
behalf of Rahul Gandhi, most certainly I am not," the National
Conference leader said, noting that Rahul has never said
anything about the issues of governance in the state.

Omar`s comments came after a local daily published an
interview of Soz, in which he claimed Rahul was "not happy"
with the governance in the state.

"If Rahul has certain feelings regarding governance he
will make them known to me. All I can say is that in all the
years that I have known Rahul, he has not said anything
regarding the way in which the governance has been functioning
here," Omar said.
"If he (Rahul) has spoken to Soz sahab and Soz sahab is
authorised to speak on Rahul`s behalf then I really have
nothing more to say about that," the Chief Minister said.

Differences between the ruling National Conference and its
coalition partner Congress came to fore recently when the
state Congress rallied behind the Army after Omar announced
plans to partially revoke the Armed Forces Special Powers Act
(AFSPA) from the state.

Soz had on October 28 accused Omar of not consulting his
party for evolving a consensus before unilaterally announcing
that the Act would be revoked from some areas in J&K.

Omar, however, today asserted that his government has the
authority to revoke the "controversial" law.

"I have the authority. The elected state government of any
state has the authority. In this case (revocation of AFSPA),
the authority rests with the governor who would act on the
basis of the state government`s recommendations," he said a
day after holding discussions with the Army on the possibility
of partial revocation of AFSPA.

PTI