Hectic political activities in Kashmir as Azad faces confidence vote

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Srinagar, Jul 6 (UNI) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today made no comments when asked about the chance of winning the confidence vote to be moved by him during the one-day session summoned by Governor N N Vohra tomorrow.

'' You will see tomorrow when the house meets,'' Mr Azad told reporters after inaugurating the new legislature complex here this afternoon.

Meanwhile, hectic political activities are going on in the Kashmir valley as the Congress-led coalition government in the state faces a vote of confidence motion tomorrow.

The main opposition party in the state, the National Confernce (NC) having a strength of 24 members, People Democratic Party (PDP)- a partner in the government until last week with 18 members-- and four Panthers Party (PP) members have already opened their cards to vote against the motion tomorrow.

These parties have also issued a whip to their members asking them to remain present in the house and vote against the confidence motion. However, the PDP patron and MLA from Pahalgam Mufti Mohammad Syed is abroad and cannot take part in the voting.

One each member of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Jammu State Morcha (JSM) will also oppose the motion.

Going by all calculations, the Congress government still have three members short of simple majority even if two CPI (M) members and all other independents and rebel PDP members vote in favour of the motion.

The state coalition government was formed in October 2002 when the PDP and Congress agreed to rule the state three years each to dislodge the NC, which emerged as the largest single party in the elections.

The trouble in the coalition started when the PDP and Congress senior leaders, including ministers, embroiled into mud-slying after Mr Azad took over as Chief Minister in 2005 from Mr Sayeed.

However, the situation took an extreme turn when PDP finally decided to pull out from the coalition on the issue of diversion of land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB). The PDP, which according to Mr Azad was equally responsible for the CoM's decision to divert land to SASB, demanded that the land order be revoked by June 30. However, without waiting for the deadline set by them, the PDP withdrew from the coalition government on June 28.

Later, Mr Azad wrote a letter to Mr Vohra requesting him to summon the house so that he could prove his majority following withdrawal by PDP.

Mr Vohra asked Mr Azad to prove his majority by July seven.

On the recommendations of the Chief Minister, Mr Vohra summoned a special one-day session tomorrow to allow Mr Azad to prove that he still enjoys the confidene of the house.

UNI BAS ARB HT1812

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