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JK: Azad gags partymen from talking about polls

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
March 11, 2008 21:45 IST
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Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has cautioned ministers and legislators of his party not to issue statements pertaining to political alliances in the forthcoming state assembly elections.

In a statement, Azad said, "Nobody has been authorised to speak on this issue."

Azad said that he would "take serious note against those making such statements".

This follows the repeated speeches by one of Azad's senior cabinet colleague, who had recently said the Congress had a bitter experience aligning with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state and "would therefore fight the forthcoming elections on its own".

The Congress-PDP alliance came to power in the state in 2002, after the assembly elections on a power-rotation agreement wherein the PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed headed the alliance government for the first three years, and since the shift over in 2005, Azad has been heading the ruling alliance.

The Congress high command including president Sonia Gandhi have issued statements from time to time maintaining the forthcoming state assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir would be fought by the Congress and PDP as electoral allies.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar