Ahead of crucial vote, Azad sounds upbeat

July 6th, 2008 - 8:56 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

Srinagar, July 6 (IANS) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad sounded upbeat Sunday, a day before he seeks a vote of confidence for his government. Azad inaugurated the state legislature complex in summer capital Srinagar that had been in the making for 27 years. Its foundation stone was laid by late Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, the National Conference founder when he was chief minister in 1981.

On the sidelines of the function, mediapersons asked Azad whether he had the right numbers in the 87-member assembly.

“It is a funny question. Why would I otherwise convene the assembly tomorrow to prove my strength?” he said with a smile.

Azad also told reporters he would inaugurate a new museum building in Srinagar July 22 - indicating his confidence that he would continue in the office.

The state legislative assembly has 87 elected members and two nominated members. Of the elected members, the National Conference has 24, the Congress 21, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) 17, Panthers’ Party 4, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) 2, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 1, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) 1, Jammu Mukti Morcha 1 and there are 16 independents.

Of the two nominated members, one belongs to the Congress and the other to the PDP.

Following their differences over the land transfer to the Amarnath shrine authorities, the PDP last month withdrew from the Congress-led ruling coalition, necessitating the vote of confidence.

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