SRINAGAR: The Congress is falling in the BJP’s footsteps by trying to strike electoral alliances with the smaller political parties in Jammu and Kashmir. Efforts have begun in right earnest to ensure that old allies are not tempted to leave for greener pastures, while others are persuaded to link their fortunes with the Congress party in the state.

In a new political development in Jammu and Kashmir, Congress leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad landed in Kashmir on Saturday and drove straight to the Peoples Democratic Front (PDF) Chairman Hakim Mohammad Yasin's residence and held an hour long close door meeting with him.

According to sources in Congress, the meeting took place to garner Hakim's support for Congress party during the upcoming assembly elections. However Hakim's decision was not known immediately.
Sources close to the development told The Citizen that Azad has been specially sent by the party high command to build relations with new smaller parties and keep the old allies intact.

"Azad has been entrusted the job to stop BJP building relations with smaller parties and cut down their vote share”, sources said adding that in the coming days Azad will be meeting more such parties and will revive the functioning of the Congress party in the state.

Meanwhile, the BJP President Amit Shah is already in J&K reviewing the prevailing political situation in the state with BJP leaders and is also seeking a feedback from them on the ongoing political developments in the

State, sources said.

Efforts for an electoral understanding between the Peoples Democratic Party and the Congress party received a major setback when details of a meeting between Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and Azad were leaked to sections of the media. Currently, individual leaders on both sides are speaking of the need to come together but the leadership of the two parties has not given a green signal. Instead the PDP is seen to be closer to the BJP with both having established clear channels of communication.