NATIONAL

J&K RS polls significant

SRINAGAR NOV. 10. The unopposed election of three leading politicians of Jammu and Kashmir, the former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, the Pradesh Congress chief, Ghulam Nabi Azad, and the former Union Minister, Saifuddin Soz, to the Rajya Sabha has given a new twist to the changed political situation in the State.

The formal announcement of their election to the Upper House is expected tomorrow, but their political journey to Delhi has sent signals for a stable Government in the State for the time being. Dr. Abdullah, following the defeat of his son and National Conference president, Omar Abdullah, in the Assembly polls, could have been the choice for the Chief Ministership had his party explored the possibility of forming a Government. But, it seems, the NC has decided to sit in the Opposition at least for the next couple of years.

Similarly, Mr. Azad's reelection to the Rajya Sabha indicates that the Congress is committed to its support for the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Government for the next three years.

Both the leaders have, however, made it known that they would spend much time in the State to address the problems of the people here. The election of Prof. Soz to the Rajya Sabha is again significant.

Observers believe that it is to the advantage of the Congress to have such a prominent secular leader of national stature on its side in the Upper House.

At one time, his name was also making the rounds for the Chief Minister's post when the People's Democratic Party insisted on a Kashmiri holding the post. Keeping in view his contribution as a straightforward, secular politician, the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, gifted him the Rajya Sabha seat, much to the discomfort of the National Conference.

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