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J&K unhappy with Sonia's decision

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
May 19, 2004 02:57 IST
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The Congress' Jammu and Kashmir unit has decided to once again request party president Sonia Gandhi to reconsider her decision not to be prime minister.

Local leaders feel the age-old bond between the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty and the state PCC would add weight to the appeal.

"We are meeting at the PCC headquarters tomorrow to discuss the development and we will again appeal Sonia Gandhi to reconsider her decision not to take up the PM's post," Abdul Gani Vakil, senior vice-president of the Congress in the state, said in Srinagar.

"I feel she doesn't want to rake up a controversy after leading her party to a decisive victory in the country. She is clear-hearted and after the huge success in the recent elections she doesn't want to give the opposition any issues to create confusion."

A college lecturer feels Gandhi made a mistake by first accepting and then refusing the offer. "She was frightened by the stock market crash and the BJP's attacks on her," Mehraj-ud-Din said. "She appears to be a good-natured person, but definitely not one who can lead the country."

"It is an unprecedented move, which is why it was initially received with utter disbelief... Sonia repeated the tradition of renunciation. Only saints are capable of doing it," Jagmohan Singh, a businessman, said.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar