SRINAGAR: The stage is all set in Jammu and Kashmir for change of guard and Union Minister for Renewable Energy Dr. Farooq Abdullah is likely to replace his son in January 2011 as Chief Minister of the State.
Sources close to father and son duo said that Farooq Abdullah has expressed his willingness before the Congress leadership at centre to take charge of the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference-Congress coalition government.
It merits a mention here that UPA chairperson Sonia Ghandi and Prime Minister Dr. Man Mohan Singh Day had conveyed their unhappiness over the decimal performance of Omar Abdullah led coalition government to Dr. Abdullah on September 14 when the Prime Minister hinted at the â€œgovernment deficitâ€ in Jammu and Kashmir. After government of India decided to send an All Party Delegation to Kashmir, National Conference President, Dr Farooq Abdullah, met Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson, Sonia Gandhi on September 16, following which he categorically stated that Omar Abdullah would continue as chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and he was not going to resign. However, the insiders maintain that Dr. Farooq Abdullah has offered himself for the Chief Minister ship of the sensitive state following severe criticism to his son Omar Abdullah by the central leadership. Highly placed sources revealed that Omar Abdullah has to step down in January subject the improvement in ground situation in Kashmir which is on fire since Jun 11 following the killing of a 17 year old boy by the security forces in Srinagar city.
It was also learnt that the members of All â€“Party Delegation that visited the state in the third week of September have all in one voice recommended ouster of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah stating that the young chief minister has failed in providing a good governance to the state and that it was the mishandling of the situation by him that led to such a large scale public outpouring in Kashmir Valley.
On the other hand, young congress leaders in Delhi supporting Omar Abdullahâ€™s continuation have also doubled their efforts of save Omar abiyan. Reports reaching here said that Sachin pilot who is also brother-in-law of Omar has called on senior NC leader Muhammad Shafi Uri in New Delhi on October 2 to know about the feelings of the senior NC brigade about Omar Abdullah. The two leaders had a three hour long meeting, and Shafi, it was said, has conveyed Sachin that there was no change in Omar Abdullahâ€™s attitude even after three months of political upsurge in Kashmir. â€œ Omar has not learnt from the mistakes of the past and there was no change in his behaviorâ€ the sources quoted Shafi as saying to Sachin. However, the senior congress leadership had made its mind to replace Omar in January or as and when the situation comes to normal in Kashmir.
The sources in National Conference maintain that Raja Sabha Member of the party Ghulam Nabi Ratinpori will be asked to vacate his seat paving way for Omar Abdullah in the parliament wherefrom he will be subsequently accommodated in the union cabinet. The proposal was discussed both by the NC leadership and was presented before the Congress leadership at centre for approval by Dr. Farooq Abdullah in his September 16 meeting with UPA chairperson Sonia Ghandi and Prime Minister Dr. Man Mohan Singh. It was learnt that some members of the All-party Delegation that visited Jammu and Kashmir between 20th and 23rd September have started their deliberations with both NC and Congress leaders to workout modalities for change of guard in Jammu and Kashmir. sources said there was one-on-one meeting between CPI leader D Raja and NC heavy weight Shafi Uri in New-Delhi on October 3. Muslim leader and MP from Hyderabad Assadudin Uwaisi is understood to have met several congress leaders and NC president Dr. Farooq Abdullah in New-Delhi.
Back home, senior NC brigade including state Finance Minister Ab. Rahim Rather, Shafi Uri, Choudery Ramzan, Ajay Sadotra, Sajad Kichloo, Sharif-u-din Shariq, Javaid Raina, Khalid Najeeb Suhrawardy have vehemently advocated change of guard in the state.
Taking into account the negative impact of Omar led government on ground and the views expressed against him by his own party men, the centre has decided to show him exit in. (Punjab Newsline Network)