Indian Express

Omar trying, but some NC leaders voted against Congress: Soz

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Jammu and Kashmir Congress president Saifuddin Soz. (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir Congress president Saifuddin Soz. (PTI)

Amid reports that National Conference workers in Jammu did not vote for the Congress candidate, state Congress president Saifuddin Soz, who is also heading the coordination committee between the parties, agrees this happened in some places though Chief Minister Omar Abdullah helped the Congress.

Is the pre-poll alliance between NC and Congress going to help the prospects of the coalition partners?
Initially, workers were in favour of a friendly match. Finally, it was decided we should have a coalition with the NC. We are sincerely trying and Omar Abdullah is also trying hard. Omar and his colleagues helped us to their best in Jammu and we will help them in the Valley and then we shall see the results.

There are reports that in Jammu, NC workers did not vote for Congress candidates.
I am confident that a majority of NC workers helped us in Jammu but in Surankote they could not and for that the blame lies with the local leadership.

If Congress does not win the Jammu seat, will it effect the alliance?  
That will be prejudging the situation. I don’t know what is going to happen. Now the votes are in the EVMs and when counting takes place, we shall see if we have won or lost in Jammu.

Is it true that the PDP is emerging as a threat to the Congress in Jammu and to the NC in Kashmir?
No it is not true. Our party is intact in Kashmir and also in Jammu and many say they are doing well at people’s level. Once results are out, facts will emerge.

There is a perception that the Congress base has grown in Kashmir but if there is another alliance, will it hamper the prospects of the Congress in the assembly polls?
I would not like to say anything at this stage as we have a coalition for the parliamentary elections. And for the assembly elections, we will adopt the policy that suits us.

Farooq Abdullah’s brother and NC legislator Mustafa Kamal said a pre-poll alliance will harm both the NC and the Congress.  
I wish they (NC) had gone by his advice, if he was so sure. I don’t know on what basis he (Kamal) said this. But, he said voting separately would help both parties. He should now fight the assembly polls.

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