Srinagar, Oct 27 (IANS) The National Conference Monday launched a scathing attack on Congress leader and former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, saying giving it (NC) a full six-year term to govern Jammu and Kashmir after the 2008 elections was no favour.
Azad had blamed the decision to let the NC hold the chief minister’s post for the entire six years despite an alliance with the Congress as the reason for the latter’s debacle in the Lok Sabha polls.
A statement by NC spokesman Junaid Azim Mattu here said: “Azad is in fact blaming his party leadership for a decision that the Congress high command as well as Azad were party to.”
It said the Congress did not get the mandate for a rotational chief minister’s post in 2008 when the NC emerged the single largest party with 28 legislators. The Congress had 17 members.
“The NC has been a part of the coalition government with sincerity of purpose to serve the people of Jammu and Kashmir and has done so with grace and poise, and terms such remarks at this juncture at the conclusion of the government’s term as unfortunate, politically convenient and contrary to facts.”
It asked Azad if he would also attribute the Congress’ weaknesses in other states also to the NC.
“The Congress has held key cabinet portfolios in the coalition government … for the last six years. If Azad wants to find misplaced excuses for his party’s self-admitted and acknowledged weakness, our unsolicited advice is that he should find relevant and logical excuses that would at least have some possibility of being taken seriously by the voters.
“The chief minister’s seat belonged deservedly to the NC for the entire six years as was mandated by the fact that the Congress simply did not have adequate numbers to claim a rotational chief minister’s seat.
“This decision was mutually taken by the NC leadership and Congress high command. At that time, Azad not only endorsed the decision but was a party to it.
“Azad has every right to criticize the Congress high command and blame them for weakening the party in Jammu and Kashmir.”
The statement said NC ministers were guided by the highest standards of accountability and had a clean and clear track record and don’t have serious cases of graft cases registered against them…
“We also strongly and unequivocally condemn (Congress leader) Sham Lal Sharma’s repeated, outrightly communal and unacceptable comments about the state needing to have a Hindu chief minister,” the party said.
This was aimed at dividing the people of the state on communal lines, it added.