Former Union Minister Ambika Soni in a meeting of significant Congress leaders on the Kashmir situation said, the party wanted fresh polls in the State that has been placed under Governor’s rule after the BJP withdrew alliance from the PDP.
Announcing that the meeting was held to “discuss the situation arising out of the imposition of Governor’s rule in the State,” Ms. Soni said there was no possibility of an alliance with the PDP, which had failed to fulfil its promises to the people of the State.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, and Jammu and Kashmir Congress Committee president Ghulam Ahmad Mir were present in the meeting.
A Congress delegation will also be visiting Leh, Ladakh and Kargil soon to assess the situation. On Tuesday, about 100 party members will meet in Srinagar for the same purpose.
Later, speaking to journalists, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said in reply to a question whether the party was looking to form a government in the State: “We are not as foolish as you [the BJP] think. Our demand is that elections should happen there immediately. First, you destroyed the administration of that State, made an unethical alliance, and today you want to rule there through Governor’s rule. Three years are left there; why don’t you announce elections? Order polls if you have the courage.”
“Look at their policies in such a sensitive State and they also thump their chests on nationalism,” he added.
Asked about the implications of Ms. Mufti reportedly meeting former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Mr. Singhvi said: “Meeting with somebody has not to be read in terms of all other kinds of conclusions you are drawing. I have made it clear. I don’t think we should jump to conclusions.”
However, the Congress media cell denied knowledge of any such meeting.
Mr. Singhvi also said that terrorist incidents, army deaths, cross-border attacks and ceasefire violations had increased in the State.