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Omar resigns, Governor asks him to continue

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
Last updated on: July 28, 2009 19:16 IST
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Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday tendered his resignation to Governor N N Vohra, asking him to go into a senior People's Democratic Party leader's allegation of his involvement in the 2006 sex scandal, and accept it if he was guilty.


The governor is reported to have observed that he would be able to consider Omar's resignation only after being fully informed about the details of the allegation against him and verifying its basis.


The Governor has asked Omar to continue to discharge his responsibilities as Chief Minister till a final decision is taken, a Raj Bhavan spokesperson said in a statement.


Vohra, who was on his way to the airport to leave for Delhi to attend to certain engagements, deferred his departure on receiving a message that the chief minister wanted to meet him urgently.


The spokesperson said Omar requested the governor to inquire on a time-bound basis into the allegations made against his moral character by former Deputy Chief Minister Muzzafar Hussain Beigh, a PDP Member of Legislative Assembly, in the assembly today and to "immediately accept his resignation in case the Governor is satisfied that there is any basis therein."


An emotional Omar drove to the Governor's residence at 3 pm, shortly after announcing in the assembly that he will submit his resignation and stay out of the office till his name is cleared, refusing to yield to pleas by National Conference and Congress MLAs not to step down.

"I cannot continue in this situation, and I will tender my resignation to the state governor till my name is cleared of the allegations levelled against me," a highly emotional Abdullah announced in the midst of uproarious scenes in the state assembly triggered by Beigh's allegations.

The infamous sex scandal rocked the state in 2006, taking a toll of two ministers besides several top civil and security officials.

Beigh, a senior leader of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party stood up after the Question Hour and displayed a list of people allegedly involved in the scandal and said that 'the name of the chief minister figured at serial number 102.'

The statement of Beigh triggered pandemonium in the state assembly with the ruling National Conference party members rushing towards the CM, trying to pacify him and urging him to retract his announcement to resign.

Members were heard asking him 'not to fall into the trap of the opposition PDP who want his exit.'

The chief minister, however, left the assembly hall as journalists covering the proceedings rushed towards the Raj Bhavan.

"This is not an ordinary allegation of theft or dacoity, but a much more serious and sensitive allegation, and I have no right to occupy my office without being cleared of the allegations," Omar said in the state assembly.

The state assembly session began Monday on an explosive note with the PDP members led by their president, Mehbooba Mufti causing a ruckus leading to physical eviction of PDP members from the house.

Mehbooba had even resorted to dislodging the speakers mike from his table, after which she also was evicted from the house.

The chief minister drove to his uptown Gupkar residence, after leaving the assembly complex under heavy security.

Before proceeding to Raj Bhawan to submit his resignation, CM Omar Abdullah held a closed-door session with his father and Union minister Farooq Abdullah, at his Gupkar residence.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar