Government will fall ‘automatically’ if Cabinet doesn’t meet: Soz

Toughening his stand, State Congress chief Prof Saifudin Soz Monday said if Chief Minister Omar Abdullah fails to convene the cabinet meeting and National Conference leaders continue to boycott Coalition Coordination Committee (CCC) meet, the government would lose “its Constitutional validity and fall automatically.”
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a function at party headquarters here, Soz said he didn’t issue any threat to the government over the cabinet meetings. “As a coordination committee head and state Congress president, I wanted to discuss certain important issues with our alliance partner. Now if Chief Minister fails to call the cabinet meeting and if NC leaders continue to stay away from CCC meetings, the government would lose its Constitutional validity and fall automatically,” Soz said. “If these things don’t materialize, it puts a question mark on the functioning of institutions.”
Later talking to Greater Kashmir, Soz said he was not “interested in the fall of government.” “Cabinet and CCC are important institutions. Cabinet enjoys great Constitutional importance. If they stop functioning over a period of time, government would fall without anybody’s intervention,” he said in reply to whether the NC-Congress coalition was crumbling.
Pertinently, fresh fissures have of late cropped up between Congress and NC. The row started after NC boycotted the CCC meeting convened by Soz on the pretext that he had spoken against NC in a rally in Kathua. Then what the Congress terms “unilateral announcements” made by the Chief Minister with regard to increase in the ration money of police personnel, reservation to OBCs and Pahari speaking people and decreasing the power tariff, further widened the divide between the two parties.
On the issue of reservations to OBCs, Soz said Congress had already been pursuing the issue. “Not just two per cent but we stand for four per cent reservation to them,” Soz said. To a query why Congress has expressed its displeasure and opposed the meeting between Hurriyat leaders with the Pakistan envoy in New Delhi, Soz said, “I don’t like Hurriyat leaders talking to Pakistan envoy. This can’t help them to resolve Kashmir issue. “If Hurriyat demands autonomy or more than that, they should enter into a dialogue. Dialogue is the only way to resolve issues.” Replying to recent assertions made by Ram Jethmalani and Najma Heptullah vis-à-vis Kashmir Committee, the state Congress chief said, “I believe they are not serious on Kashmir.”
He also took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh stating that the duo doesn’t have capacity to play the role of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. “They don’t have Vajpayee’s spirit,” he said. Asked who would be Congress’ chief ministerial candidate, Soz said it is a big party and takes decisions after thorough consultations. “Our legislators will sit and discuss who should be the Chief Minister,” Soz said.
Meanwhile, former Director Social Welfare, Farooq Ahmed Khan, Awami National Conference activist Sajad Dar and former bureaucrat Ghulam Muhammad Mir joined Congress on Monday in presence of Soz and other senior Congress leaders including MLC Ghulam Nabi Monga, MLC Muhammad Muzaffar Parray, PCC Secretary Dr Syed Ahmed and Shameema Raina.