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Day after verdict, Farooq opts for Omar as J&K CM

Source: PTI
Last updated on: December 29, 2008 11:52 IST
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Clearing all confusion, National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah on Monday said he would recommend to his party that his son Omar Abdullah should be the new chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir.

"The time has now come. I will recommend to the party that it should consider Omar Abdullah for the chief minister's post. I thought over the issue during the night," he said with Omar by his side.

Now the state should have a younger chief minister because there are a lot of things to do, the 72-year-old leader said.

His remarks assume significance in the wake of his statement on Sunday night that he would like to be the chief minister, which created confusion.

Thirty eight-year-old Omar, on his part, said he will be guided by his father.

Omar further said informal contacts have been established with the Congress and that he would now go to Delhi and talk to Congress leaders in seeking their help to form a government. 

"A decision has been taken that my name will be put forward at the Legislature Party meeting of National Conference for the post of Chief Minister," Omar told media persons after emerging from his father's residence.

He, however, said this decision was only of the NC, which will have to be ratified by the new alliance partners as well.

"Formally, no talks have been held on formation of an alliance (with Congress). The results have just come out yesterday," Omar said.

He said there should be no difficulty in talking to Congress and seeking their support.

Farooq, on his part, said he was looking at the situation and felt that the state needed a younger chief minister. The veteran NC leader said he would concentrate on national politics and also help strengthen the party.

"We have lost some ground. The party needs a regrouping and realignment. I would devote more time to the party and to party work," Farooq said.

Omar said the senior Abdullah will visit Delhi on Monday to formally begin talks on formation of an alliance. NC bagged 28 seats in the 87-member J&K assembly with Congress notching up 17.

"If weather permits, Farooq sahib will fly to Delhi to start formal talks about formation of an alliance," he said.

Asked about the future course of action as far as formation of government is concerned, Omar said, "All the parties will now sit down and decide on their strategies. It can be done only after we have finalised our alliance partners."

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