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J&K Congress leaders in Delhi, want Mufti replaced

October 25, 2005 17:06 IST

Several senior Jammu and Kashmir Congress leaders, including many ministers, rushed to New Delhi on Tuesday for holding consultations with the party high command over the transfer of power in the state.

Those who left for New Delhi on Tuesday include Power Minister Mohammad Sharief Niaz and Minister of State for Transport Raman Bhalla.

The Ministers and leaders who rushed to Delhi on Monday are Assembly Speaker Tara Chand, Member of Parliament Madan Lal Sharma, Health Minister Suman Bhagat, Minister of State for Finance Babu Singh, Minister of State for Sports Yogesh Sawhney, Minister of State for Revenue Dr Ramesh Kumar, Minister of State for Forests Thakur Puran Singh, and legislators Dr Manohar Lal and Sham Lal Sharma.

Sources said the senior Congress leaders are in New Delhi to build pressure on the party high command to go for a change of guard in the state on November 2.

They said eight out of the 10 associated members of the Assembly, affiliated to the Congress, held an emergency meeting on Monday at the residence of Minister of State for Housing Abdul Majid Wani.

Those who attended the meeting were Thakur Puran Singh, Babu Singh, G M Saroori, Aijaz Ahmed Khan, Moulvi Abdul Rashid and Abdul Ghani Vakil.

The sources said it was decided that if Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was allowed to continue beyond November 2, they would resign en masse from the state Cabinet and dissociate from the Congress.

The sources said the associated members wanted the Congress high command to implement the power-sharing agreement of 2002 in letter and spirit.

"We have conveyed in writing to Congress general secretary Ambika Soni, who is also in charge of Jammu and Kashmir affairs, that the party will receive a jolt in case Sayeed is allowed to continue as the chief minister beyond November 2," a minister who attended the meeting, said, on condition of anonymity.

Source: source