Decision on any pre-poll alliance by Congress for Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir scheduled later this year will be taken by the high command, senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said here today. "I cannot say with whom we will ally. Like National Conference has said that the party will decide, Congress will (also) decide, the workers will decide and the final decision will be taken by the Congress high command," Azad told reporters.
Azad and AICC General Secretary Ambika Soni are here to review the party's functioning in view of the polls. Azad, who met opposition PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed a few days back, said he did not discuss anything about any future alliance with him. "Of course, we did discuss politics, but we did not talk about any alliance for the Assembly elections," he said.
Congress and National Conference have been ruling Jammu and Kashmir in a coalition for nearly six years. Azad said nothing much should be read into the meeting with Sayeed as it was not unusual for leaders from opposition parties to socialise with each other. "There is a difference between politics in Delhi and Kashmir. In Delhi, we fight each other in the Parliament on the issues and the philosophy of the parties, but we keep on meeting the opposition parties on a regular basis. The individual relations are cordial as we also have a social life," he said. "So it is not right to say that we should not meet. Meeting the opposition seems a new thing in Kashmir as the politics here is cut-throat," he added.
Azad said meetings between rival political leaders should not be frowned upon as they have to work together. "Why can't we meet our own people, be it from National Conference or PDP or Congress? We have worked together. There is a possibility of working together in the future as well as no one knows with whom there will be a coalition," he added.
Expressing hope of a better show by Congress in the Assembly elections, Azad said, "The result of Lok Sabha polls in Jammu and Kashmir will not have any effect on the Assembly elections in the state." "The issues in the two elections are different and for each parliamentary constituency, there is one candidate from each party for 15 to 20 Assembly segments. It would be wrong to think that the results of Lok Sabha polls will be reflected in the Assembly elections," he said.