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Sonia's J&K visit not put off: Congress
Onkar Singh in New Delhi
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October 27, 2005 09:57 IST

Tom Waddakan, of the Congress party, has clarified that Mrs Sonia Gandhi [Images] has not put off her visit to Jammu and Kashmir [Images] as has been reported in a leading national daily.

"I have seen the report but that is not true. The fact is that Mrs Gandhi's visit is yet to be scheduled and no date had been fixed, so there is no question of her visit being put off," he said. According to sources in the Congress party Mrs Gandhi is too pre-occupied with the transfer of power in the state and it would not be convenient for her to visit the state at the weekend as proposed earlier.

Mrs Gandhi wants to oversee the relief work in various camps that were set up to provide assistance to the earthquake victims in North Kashmir. According to the news report the special protection group has over ruled the visit at this juncture on the basis of various intelligence inputs provided to them by the state intelligence as well as the intelligence bureau.

Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has offered to resign and hand over power on November 2 as per the agreement reached between the Congress and the people's democratic party in October 2002, which gave Mufti first three years in office. He is not keen to continue even if Congress wants to give him a couple of months extension and instead wants a firm announcement from the coalition partner that they would not disturb him at least for one year.

Senior Congress leaders from the state are not willing to stick their necks out and prefer to confer amongst themselves and air their views in private against letting Mufti to continue in office and not have a Congress chief minister in the office.

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