Rafiabad: A day after militant attacks in Kashmir Valley left 21 persons dead, Congress on Saturday said it was unfortunate that some people, within the country and outside, were not happy with the high voter turnout in the first two phases of Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir.
"This is most unfortunate that some people are not happy. Of course, there are people within our country, within our own state, and there are external forces that are not happy with the heavy turnout of voters," senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters here.
"But I would like to congratulate the people of Jammu and Kashmir and I am sure the voters are not going to be cowed down by these acts of militants and I am sure that to keep deceptive forces at bay, whether they are from outside or inside, the people would now increase the (voting) percentage from 70 to 90," the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha said.
Responding to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's criticism of Congress, Azad said it was "unfortunate" and "sad".
"That is most unfortunate. Having presided over Congress government and Cabinet for the last six years, I think, it does not behove a Chief Minister, who has been there for a full term with the support of Congress, that after the term is going to be over, he starts criticising Congress, it is very sad," he said.
Azad also criticised Omar during his speech.
"Omar says he had no control over his ministers indulging in corruption. Why did he not control them or take them to task? He is a chief minister and has the authority. He should have sacked them. When I was the chief minister, I sacked a cabinet colleague and a dear friend just over an allegation, which was later found to be false," Azad said.
On a question of post-poll alliance, Azad said, "I do not know what is going to happen in future but at the moment, we are trying our level best to muster the support so that we do not need anybody's support".
Congress General Secretary and in-charge of Jammu and Kashmir affairs Ambika Soni also criticised Omar.
"Omar has been the chief minister of the state for the last six years. Legally and morally, he should have been the chief minister for just three years as Congress had a right to lead for the three years.
"But our leader Sonia Gandhi thought that he was young and should be given an opportunity for the full six years. Now we feel, that had we given him only three years, our chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad or any other who would have been chosen, would have implemented the Food Security Bill. But now we appeal you to support Congress so that we implement it in the state," she said.
The Congress leaders addressed rallies in Hatlangoo village in Sopore, Reban in Rafiabad and Nowpora in Sangrama assembly constituencies.