Soz formally appointed J

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New Delhi, Feb 13 (UNI) Union Water Resources Minister Saifuddin Soz will be the new president of the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC), the party announced today.

The move is aimed at strengthening the Congress in Jammu and Kashmir at a crucial time when the troubled state goes to polls later this year.

Prof Soz replaces Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed who had resigned from the post on January 17 following allegations of bribery levelled against him by a sitting legislator.

In a statement, the party said Congress president Sonia Gandhi has approved Prof Soz's name in consultation with the general secretary in-charge of the state affairs.

Prof Soz would, at least for the time being, retain the portfolio of Water Resources Ministry.

Sayeed had also resigned from the state Cabinet as Education and Haj and Auqaf Minister.

Independent legislator Shoaib Lone had alleged in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly on January 11 that Sayeed demanded and took from him Rs 40,000 for giving permission to his sister to open an elementary teacher training institute in the Valley.

The Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir are scheduled to be held in September-October this year.

UNI AG RL DS1502

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