"The convention was held to identify the reasons for the party's electoral debacle and work out a roadmap to restore the party's image among the people so that it doesn't face the same plight in the assembly polls."
Jammu, July 19 - Congress workers Saturday told the party top brass that they must not fight the forthcoming assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir in alliance with the National Conference.

Their views were made at one-day convention of the party held here and attended by senior Congress leaders, including party general secretary in charge of the state, Ambika Soni, former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and state party chief Saifuddin Soz.

Bruised by their defeat in the Lok Sabha elections, in which the Congress lost all the three seats it fought in alliance with the National Conference, a majority of party workers asked the party leadership not to forge any alliance with the NC for the upcoming state assembly polls scheduled to be held by the year-end.

Congress sources told IANS in Jammu that the speakers at Saturday's convention blamed the NC for misgovernance and for treating the Congress as a step- brother.

Many angry workers also blamed their party's ministers for ignoring the party's interests in the over five years the NC-Congress alliance has been in power in Jammu and Kashmir, Congress sources said.

The sources said the youth leaders of the party opposed the state government's recent decision to increase the retirement age of government employees from 58 to 60 years.

The convention was held to identify the reasons for the party's electoral debacle and work out a roadmap to restore the party's image among the people so that it doesn't face the same plight in the assembly polls.

The Congress has 17 members in the 87-member state legislative assembly.


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