National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah fears that his son and Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah might meet Shashi Tharoor’s fate if he resigns.
“Do you hear about Shashi Tharoor any more after he stepped down?” Farooq said after meeting Congress chief Sonia Gandhi at her 10 Janpath residence on Wednesday.
“That is what you people do. You play tricks so that one fellow goes down and a second fellow comes up. You create situations and tragedy for the country,” he told the media.
Farooq, Union minister for new and renewable energy, had earlier met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The senior Abdullah also sought to put at rest all speculation about Omar stepping down. “Omar Abdullah has no intention of stepping down nor is there any such move,” he said.
The top NC leadership was visibly relieved after Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi backed Omar. “He is a youngster. Kashmir is a difficult place. Omar is doing a tough job and he should be given time and support,” Rahul said in Kolkata. Omar reciprocated by saying he was “grateful” to Rahul.
Omar is under fire for the way he handled the crisis, with the Cabinet Committee on Security underlining there was a “governance deficit” in Jammu and Kashmir. The recent overtures from the Congress towards the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leadership had also stepped up heat on him and fuelled speculation of a possible political realignment in the state.
But Farooq’s discussions with Sonia and the PM — on the visit of the all-party delegation to Kashmir and the strategy for restoring peace in the Valley — also scotched rumours that the two parties, who were in coalition till 2008, might revive the alliance.
On the details of the meetings, he said, “The talks were private.”