All is not Well in NC after LS Poll Debacle
SRINAGAR: All is not well in Jammu and Kashmir’s ruling party National Conference (NC) with its president and former Union Minister Farooq Abdullah finding it difficult to assert himself and show door to leaders blamed for party’s debacle in the Lok Sabha polls.
On Monday, the core group meeting of the NC was held under the chairmanship of Farooq here to analyse party’s poor performance in the recently held Lok Sabha polls. Besides Farooq, the meeting was attended by Chief Minister and party’s working president Omar Abdullah and seven other leaders. The NC lost all the three Lok Sabha seats in Kashmir to the Opposition PDP and its ally Congress lost all the three seats in Jammu and Ladakh to the BJP.
Farooq also tasted his first defeat when he lost the prestigious Srinagar-Budgam parliamentary seat. Sources in the NC said the core group meeting decided to appoint senior party leader Ali Mohammad Sagar as party’s general secretary relieving Sheikh Nazir, a member of the Abdullah family who has been holding the portfolio for about three decades, in view of his falling health.
Elevation of Sagar as general secretary, which was seen as a significant development, was widely covered by electronic and print media.
However, there has been no official statement from the NC in this regard yet.
The party has neither confirmed nor denied reports of change of guard, thus adding to the confusion.
NC insiders said Farooq had given hints of restructuring in the party during the core group meeting.
“During the core group meeting, leaders had demanded that party’s provincial president for Kashmir Nasir Aslam Wani and provincial president for Jammu Devender Singh Rana should own moral responsibility for the defeat and step down. Farooq had reportedly agreed with their assertions,” they said. They said core group meeting also discussed replacements of Wani and Rana, both considered close to the Chief Minister.
However, according to NC insiders, Omar has vetoed all decisions taken in the core group meeting chaired by his father. “He has not given his consent to the appointment of Sagar as general secretary and other major decisions that were approved by the core group,” they said, adding that he continues to back his close aides despite odds against them.