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Rahul Gandhi holds consultations with J&K Congress leaders

PTI | Last Updated: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 22:42

New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday held consultations with Jammu and Kashmir Congress leaders in the backdrop of growing strains between the party and its alliance partner National Conference over the issue of implementation of 73rd amendment related to devolving powers to panchayats.

State Congress chief Saifuddin Soz and several central leaders took part in the discussions.

When contacted, Soz said a number of issues were discussed but refused to divulge details saying it was an internal party meeting.

He said the work done by the state unit in the past three months was discussed and a roadmap for next three months was prepared.

In their first public display of differences over empowerment of panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had last month maintained that maximum powers have been devolved while the Congress vice president urged him to do more.

The assertions by leaders of the ruling coalition partners National Conference (NC) and Congress came against the backdrop of some drama witnessed during Rahul`s address in Jammu on November 6 when a protesting sarpanch disrupted his speech saying that though the Centre did help them, there was no support from the state government.

Omar while referring to the incident said its aim seemed to be belittling the NC-Congress coalition government.

Both the parties have, however, ruled out any threat to the alliance.

The two parties in the state, sharing power for the past nearly six years, have been maintaining that the issue of alliance has to be decided by the high command of the respective parties.

The assembly-elections in the state are scheduled by the end of next year some six months after the Lok Sabha polls.

First Published: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 22:42

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