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Omar Abdullah's party set to join UPA

Source: PTI
January 02, 2009 12:29 IST
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The National Conference, which will head a coalition government with Congress in Jammu and Kashmir, is all set to join the United Progressive Alliance, Congress sources said on Friday.

NC President Omar Abdullah, who will take oath as the new J and K chief minister on January five, has written to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi expressing his party's desire to join the UPA. The NC has two members in the Lok Sabha.

Thirty eight-year-old Omar, the youngest-ever chief minister of the state, will initially head a six-member coalition ministry. The sources said there will be no rotation of chief ministership.

Besides Omar, three members each of NC and Congress will take oath on Monday.

Among the front runners in the race for Deputy Chief Ministership are Congress leaders B R Kundal, Shyamlal Sharma and Raman Bhalla.

The legislature groups of NC and Congress will meet in Srinagar on Saturday separately before calling on Governor N N Vohra to stake claim to form government.

Top leaders of NC and Congress held a 90-minute meeting in Delhi on Thursday and decided to have a joint mechanism to review the performance of the government.

"All functional details will be discussed later. But there will be a joint mechanism to review the performance of the government," All India Congress Committee general secretary Prithviraj Chavan said after the meeting.

The meeting was attended by Union Ministers Pranab Mukherjee, A K Antony, Saifuddin Soz, former J&K CM Ghulam Nabi Azad, Chavan and Congress President's political secretary Ahmad Patel.

From NC's side, Omar was assisted by his party colleagues Abdul Rahim Rather, Mohammad Shafi Uri, Mian Altaf and Ajay Salhotra.

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