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National Conference-Congress start back-channel talks

December 28, 2008 17:24 IST

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The National Conference and the Congress have started back-channel talks to try and form a coalition to form a government in the light of the fractured verdict.

NC sources said such an arrangement would best serve the interests of both the parties and the state.

National Conference president Omar Abdullah, who is seen as the prospective chief minister, said earlier in the day that the NC will approach the Congress, which is a like-minded party, to form the government.

Asked which party the NC sees as a potential coalition partner, Omar, 38, said: "Personally, I will prefer to have an alliance with the Congress."

The problems that the Congress had with the PDP during the previous term may also push the national party to go with the NC, sources said.

"Personally, I feel that an NC-Congress alliance will be more compatible," senior Congress leader Karan Singh said.

Abdullah said his party will stake claim to form the government and formally begin talks once all the results are out and the NC emerges as the single largest party.

He said the people of Jammu and Kashmir [Images] have voted for a coalition government and the NC and the Congress are the only two parties that will sacrifice the interests of people for petty politics.

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