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Cong not favour of change of guard in J-K

With normalcy yet to return to Jammu and Kashmir, Congress today indicated it is not in favour of any change of guard in the state and was fully behind Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.



New Delhi: With normalcy yet to return to
Jammu and Kashmir, Congress today indicated it is not in favour
of any change of guard in the state and was fully behind Chief
Minister Omar Abdullah.

"The situation is tough there and it will be tackled
carefully. The Centre is closely watching the situation there.
Congress fully backs Omar Abdullah government in its efforts
to bring normalcy there," AICC general secretary in-charge for
Jammu and Kashmir Prithviraj Chavan told reporters here.

Chavan, who is also Minister of State in the PMO, said
the state government will get all required support in its
initiatives.

Asked whether National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah`s
meeting with Home Minister P Chidambaram and his visit to the
Kashmir Valley could be a prelude to his taking over as the
state Chief Minister from his son, a senior Congress leader on
condition of anonymity said "there is no question of a change
of guard at this moment. He (Farooq Abdullah) had gone to the
Valley as the President of his Party."

At the AICC briefing, party spokesperson Manish Tewari
disapproved of PDP`s decision to stay away from the all-party
meeting convened by Jammu and Kashmir government saying the
mainstream parties should rise above politics, help restore
peace in the state and isolate the separatists.

"Every political party, which considers itself in the
mainstream, has to rise above politics and help restore peace
and isolate the separatists," Tewari told reporters here.

He said it was incumbent on all political parties wedded
to democracy to strengthen the process and "help isolate the
separatists and miscreants".

Leaders of major political parties, including NC,
Congress, CPI-M and BJP, attended the all-party meeting from
which PDP and JK Panthers Party led by Bhim Singh kept away.
It deliberated on the current situation in the Kashmir Valley.

A senior Congress leader associated with Jammu and
Kashmir affairs, however, admitted no substantial outcome can
be expected from the all-party meeting there as the principal
opposition party in the state PDP had stayed away from it.

"We are already in alliance with National Conference and
there have been regular meetings between the two earlier also.
So, a solution emerging out of the all-party meeting can not
be expected. BJP and Panthers Party, which are attending the
meeting, do not have much stake in the Valley," the leader
said.

He said though any dramatic result is not expected from
the meeting, different parties will come up with different
ideas to tackle the situation there.

The leader also expressed the confidence that normalcy
would be back in the Valley. Such situations had arisen in the
Valley in the past also," he said recalling incidents of
violence in the Valley during the 2008 Amarnath agitation.

Asked whether the decision to call in the Army in the
Valley was at the request of the Jammu and Kashmir Chief
Minister, the leader said "it was a joint decision by the
state, the Centre and the Unified Command. It`s not that the
Centre agrees to send the Army at the drop of a hat."

He also rejected suggestions that there was a mess up of
the issue by the state government.

Asked whether Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had called up
PDP President Mehbooba Mufti at the request of the Chief
Minister, the leader said the PM would have called her on his
own as everybody wanted a solution to the unrest there.

PTI

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