Congress sets up policy group for J&K

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New Delhi, April 19 (IANS) Criticising both the Centre and the PDP-BJP coalition government for their handling of the Jammu and Kashmir situation, the Congress on Wednesday set up a policy-planning group led by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the state.

The group includes senior leaders Karan Singh, P. Chidambaram, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ambika Soni, Ghulam Ahmed Mir, Rigzin Zora, Tariq Hameed Karra, and Shyam Lal Sharma.

“Congress President Sonia Gandhi has constituted a policy-planning group for Jammu and Kashmir under the chairmanship of Manmohan Singh,” said a statement released by party General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi.

The move comes after a delegation of the Congress and National Conference leaders from Jammu and Kashmir met party Vice President Rahul Gandhi.

The delegation led by PCC President Ghulam Ahmed Mir later met President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan to apprise him of the situation in the Kashmir Valley.

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Gandhi earlier said on his official Twitter account: “Met a delegation of Congress and NC leaders, who will call on the President later today (Wednesday) to express our concern over the situation in Kashmir.”

Widespread protests by students in the Kashmir Valley on Monday heightened tensions as dozens of students and policemen were injured in clashes in Srinagar, Bandipora, Baramulla, Anantnag, Pulwama, Kupwara, Kulgam and Shopian districts.

Earlier, voting in the Srinagar-Budgam parliamentary constitguency saw large-scale violence and a record low turnout of 7 per cent on April 9. Re-polling was held on April 13 at 38 polling stations in Budgam district, that saw a mere two per cent balloting.



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