In its first reshuffle after the LokSabha polls debacle, ruling National Conference in Jammu and Kashmir today appointed senior Minister Ali Mohammad Sagar as the party general secretary.
Rural Development Minister Sagar assumed the charge at a party convention at its headquarters here, replacing party president Farooq Abdullah's cousin Sheikh Nazir who remained the party's general secretary since 1996.
Nazir is the oldest member of Abdullah family and has not been keeping well for some time and he has been replaced with the aim of rejuvenating the party ahead of the Assembly elections scheduled later this year.
Sagar said the party is faced with many challenges and called upon the party cadre to be united at this hour of crisis.
"The main challenge is to strengthen the party and the will of the party cadre. There are some problems which we have identified and we will work on them to strengthen the party up to the expectations of the people," he said.
He said there were many reasons for the party's poor performance in the Parliamentary polls, but now the party is in a mission mode and would come out of the difficult times.
"Disconnect with the party cadre is detrimental for the party and we will make efforts to connect with the workers and bridge that gap," he said.Farooq Abdullah said NC has the strength and the valor to make a comeback and rise up to the zenith.
"The history of the party is witness to the fact that we have have been through very bad times but we have always made a comeback," he said. Abdullah told the party workers there should be no scope for personal agendas, infighting and sycophancy in the party.
The working president and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah welcomed Sagar's appointment, saying the new general secretary will get full cooperation and support of the party leadership and the cadre.