Kashmir’s ruling coalition panel fails to agree on urban bodies poll

April 9th, 2012 - 10:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Jammu, April 9 (IANS) A meeting of Jammu and Kashmir’s ruling alliance’s coordination committee Monday focused on ways to step up development works across the state and strengthen democracy at the grassroots, but failed to agree on whether to contest the upcoming local bodies polls jointly or separately.

The coalition coordination committee reviewed the functioning of the National Conference-Congress government of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

The meeting was chaired by Pradesh Congress Committee President Saif-ud-Din Soz. He is head of the coalition coordination panel. It was attended by Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand and former minister Mangat Ram Sharma from Congress side, while Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather, Law minister Ali Mohammad Sagar and former minister Choudhary Mohammad Ramzan attended from the National Conference side.

The review focused on the performance of the Omar Abdullah-led government in the past over three years, the achievements of holding of panchayat elections and the proposal to hold civic body polls in the urban areas and promulgation of the Public Services Guarantee Act (PGSA), which makes the officers accountable to the people on day-to-day issues concerning their lives, according to sources in the panel.

“Our basic idea is to take a regular review of the performance of the government from all angles, development, peoples’ aspirations and how to strengthen the democracy at the grassroots level,” one of the panel members told IANS. “There are many challenges ahead and how to overcome those was also discussed,” a member said, requesting anonymity.

There were minor differences aired during the meeting as the National Conference and Congress leaders differed on the deadline of holding the urban local bodies’ polls. They also discussed how the new initiatives should be taken where the two ruling alliance partners are seen as speaking in one voice rather than giving vent to their differences in public, the sources told IANS.

The meeting assumes significance as the government is trying to read the pulse of the people before the local bodies polls. It, however, remained undecided whether the two parties would fight the polls jointly or separately.

“That matter is yet to be decided and we hope to sort it out when we meet next,” the member of the panel said.

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