Farooq steps down as NC president, elections on Dec 5

NC leaders Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah at the party meeting in Srinagar on Thursday. —Excelsior Photo
NC leaders Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah at the party meeting in Srinagar on Thursday. —Excelsior Photo

Omar likely to be new party chief

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, Nov 17: The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference is all set to have a new president as Dr Farooq Abdullah has stepped down as the party chief and elections are slated to be held next month.
The vice president of the party and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is likely to be the new president. However, it will be decided in the elections to be held on December 5.
The chief spokesman of the party, Tanvir Sadiq told Excelsior that Abdullah has stepped down as president of the NC and elections are slated to be held on December 5. He said that notification to this effect will be issued soon and nominations will be invited and elections will be held at the mausoleum of the party founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah at Hazratbal.
Earlier, Abdullah during the meeting of In-charge Segments, district presidents and other provincial office bearers of the party headquarters at Nawa-e-Subha in Srinagar, announced about his stepping down as the party president.  He will, however, continue as the president till the elections are held.
In an emotional speech at the party headquarters with tears in his eyes, Dr Abdullah announced his decision and asked the party leaders to take the reigns of the party in their hands. He said that his health doesn’t permit him to head the party anymore.
Abdullah told the party leaders in the meeting to strengthen the party and reach out to the people in their respective constituencies.
The meeting discussed the party affairs and prevailing situation in the Valley. The party functionaries also informed the party president about the ongoing party activities in their segments.
Abdullah pointed out the challenges being faced by the people and asked them to work closely with the people on ground.
“Our ground cadre has to act as a bridge between administration and the people. While we are fighting a just and peaceful battle for restoration of our rights, we also have to focus on public welfare. You need to render extraordinary service to people to mitigate their difficulties,” he said.
The senior party leaders asked the constituency in-charges that they should be ready for elections whenever they are held. They said that there would be no pre-poll alliance as the NC has already passed resolution to this effect.
They said that the PAGD will remain there as a forum and every party will fight elections on their own. “It is for bigger cause. It is platform for fighting for restoration of Article 370 and Statehood and not any pre-poll alliance,” they said.
Party vice president Omar Abdullah also addressed the gathering. He also stressed for strengthening of the party.
Among others party general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar, provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani, chief spokesperson Tanvir Sadiq, senior leaders Abdul Rahim Rather, Mubarak Gul, Shameema Firdous, Nazir Gurezi, Muhammad Syed Akhoon, Zonal Presidents Ali Muhammad Dar, Javed Dar, Dr. Bashir Ahmed Veeri, district presidents, Constituency In-Charges and other provincial office bearers were also present on the occasion.