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Congress ready to join hands with 'secular minded' candidates in SMC: Mir

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Srinagar, Oct 20: Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) Saturday said the party was ready to join hands with "secular-minded" winning candidates or groups to form the new body of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC).

The party is emerging as the single largest party in the civic polls but independents have won most of the 27 seats in the 74-ward body for which results were declared so far, officials said. Independents have won on 15 seats followed by Congress which has won in 10 wards.

"I would appeal all the winning candidates who have secular ideology and believe in this mission of not having a communal (forces)-backed committee or mayor at least in Srinagar (Municipal Corporation). We are ready to go with or take along any group which comes forward to stop communal forces," JKPCC president Ghulam Ahmad Mir told reporters here.

Mir said the party put in its best efforts to stop the designs and plans of the "communal forces" that could "ruin" the state.

He said the Congress party would have no hesitation to go with anyone who is "ready to support a secular front".

"So far as the SMC is concerned, we are open to all those secular-minded people – whether they are independents or proxies - we will have no hesitation to go with anyone whosoever is mentally ready to support a secular front," he said, appealing all the winning candidates to elect a capable person with secular credentials as the mayor of the corporation.

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