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Omar Abdullah skips office, awaits Governor's decision

By Sumir Kaul in Srinagar
July 29, 2009 17:25 IST
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Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who made a conditional resignation, skipped office and the assembly on Wednesday, awaiting the Governor's decision on his offer to quit in the wake of the Peoples Democratic Party's allegation that he was involved in the 2006 sex scandal.

A stream of National Conference supporters thronged his residence trying to persuade him to reconsider his decision to step down a day after he gave his resignation to Governor N N Vohra. Omar asked the Governor to enquire into the allegation made in the assembly by PDP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Beigh that he was involved in the sex scandal and accept his resignation if there was any basis in it. The 39-year-old Chief Minister described the PDP allegation as "false and malicious".

Asked whether his decision was an emotional outburst, Omar told PTI on Wednesday, "people did tell me that it is a knee-jerk reaction. I don't believe in politics of character assassination. I mean what is the example we are setting for our younger generation...I have come with a dream of healthy politics for the people of this state and for that I need a vibrant opposition and not those who are politically paupers."

Omar said he had expected opposition from political parties on principles and issues for betterment of people of the state and not a bunch of people who make "frivolous accusations" treating politics as business. "What is the example we are setting for our future generations. An opposition leader stands up when references are being made about the Shopian incident. Makes a frivolous accusation linking me with something which does not have any basis," 39-year-old Omar said. "This kind of accusation without any basis can stem only from a rotten mind and from those who treat politics as a business," he said.

The Chief Minister wondered whether PDP had actually any feelings for the two victims of Shopian. "Why is then a drama of shedding crocodile tears being staged by the opposition for Shopian victims when they are not even interested in making a proper reference on the floor of the House...At times I wonder whether they are really interested for the people of this state," he said. Beigh had alleged yesterday that Omars name figured in the list of accused being probed by the CBI in the 2006 sex scandal, a statement which he diluted in several television channel interviews later. The CBI quickly clarified that the name of the Chief Minister had never surfaced in the sex scandal probe.

"When he (Beigh) pointed the finger at me, he should have known that his own leadership will be on fire...The cabinet ministers of the then Chief Minister, his close aide and workers were arrested by the CBI. They cannot find faults with me administratively, so they are stooping so low. It seems opposition in Jammu and Kashmir has gone politically bankrupt," Omar said. Omar said this session was important as budget was going to be tabled in the assembly. "The PDP is not only ruining the states economy but also posing hundreds of hurdles for the employees and development of the state. Funds have to be allocated for developmental work but this opposition party is only interested in pushing the state into darkness and nothing else," he said.

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Sumir Kaul in Srinagar
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