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Farooq Abdullah to contest Assembly polls

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister who had said quits to active politics five years ago would contest the next Assembly elections as chief ministerial candidate, reports Arun Joshi.

india Updated: May 02, 2007 22:02 IST
Arun Joshi

It is official news that former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah who had said quits to active politics five years ago, would contest the next Assembly elections, and would possibly be National Conference's chief ministerial candidate.


He had not contested the 2002 Assembly elections, which his party, had lost, and so had party's youthful president and chief ministerial candidate Omar Abdullah.



Farooq had been talking of returning to active politics for the past over one year now, but on Tuesday, he made it more explicit. "I will contest next Assembly elections" he told the media.


Earlier, in an interview he had said that the " Question of the chief ministerial candidate would be left to the party. It would be decided by the party legislators."



Senior Abdullah's announcement has raised two questions, which seat would he contest and what would be the role of Omar Abdullah.



He had chosen not to contest in 2002 polls and Ganderbal constituency that Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and Farooq Abdullah represented, with a gap of the central rule, from 1977- 1996 was contested by Omar, who lost it to Peoples Democratic Party's Qazi Mohammad Afzal, now Forest Minister in the State Government.


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In 2002, when Farooq Abdullah had handed over the baton of party president to his son Omar Abdullah at a massive rally in Srinagar, Farooq Abdullah had declared that there was no looking back and the " new generation and dynamic leadership of the times needed to take over affairs of the State."



He offered no specific reason for reversing his earlier decision. " I see no reason why I should not be contesting the polls."



Farooq senses early fall of Congress-PDP coalition government, and a victory for his party.



" This government is going to fall any time. There are contradictions and contradictions between the partners- Congress and PDP. And National Conference will be back in power."



At present, there is a widespread feeling that the coalition government, which has been held hostage to acrimonious debates and dysfunctional attitude and approach, is on a sticky wicket. The leaders of the two major alliance partners have been going around and urging the people to vote for their individual parties and confer majority. The word alliance and coalition is also missing in their speeches.