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J&K minister criticised for 'azadi' remark

December 08, 2010 19:20 IST
Terming the 'azadi' statement made by senior Congress leader and Jammu and Kashmir Health Minister Sham Lal Sharma as "unfortunate", the ruling National Conference on Wednesday said that it always stood for the integrity of the state and equitable development.

"The NC has always stood for the integrity of Jammu and Kashmir and for equitable development of all regions and sub-regions of the state and its stand on the subject is absolutely clear and there is no change in it whatsoever," a statement issued by the ruling party said.

Reacting to Sharma's controversial statement on the J&K's trifurcation, the NC said, "The content and the context of the statement of Sharma is a matter to be deliberated and discussed by the Congress high command. The NC has refrained from commenting on his controversial speech but linking it with party or its leadership is absolutely unwarranted and uncalled for."

"It is an unfortunate attempt by the Congress leader to link his statement to the statement of party MLA Mustafa Kamal," it added.

Sharma, who stirred a controversy by advocating 'azadi' for Kashmir, separate statehood for Jammu and Union territory status for Ladakh last week, had accused NC leader Mustafa Kamal of spewing "venom against the Congress high command."

"If we do not adhere this principle of coalition dharma, the forces that want union territory for Ladakh, a separate state for Jammu and an autonomous Kashmir will gain momentum in their nefarious game. So, I urged the Congress rally to be conscious how best their interests can be safeguarded," Sharma had said.

The NC said Kamal never made any remark or statement challenging the integrity of the state and was admonished publicly by NC President Farooq Abdullah recently for making certain remarks about the Congress-NC relationship of the past.

"The party president categorically told Kamal in public not to make any statement on the historical perspective of the relationship between the two parties in the larger interest of the smooth functioning of the present coalition government and the welfare of the state," the party said.

It said the NC-Congress coalition under the leadership of J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is running very smoothly and working for the welfare and well being of the people of the state.

"The NC leadership has time and again reiterated its gratitude to United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh for the support extended by the Congress high command in the running of the coalition in the state and the party is committed to the smooth functioning of the coalition in the state," the party said in a statement.

 

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