In a bid to strengthen the party ahead of the 2014 parliamentary and assembly elections, National Conference president Omar Abdullah has given prime party positions to his close associates after dropping them from his council of ministers.
These include minister for higher education Abdul Gani Malik, minister for industries and commerce Surjeet Singh Slathia, minister for CAPD and transport Qamar Ali Akhoon, Animal Husbandry, science and information technology minister Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi, MoS Home Nasir Aslam Wani and MoS roads and buildings Javed Ahmed Dar. Even Omar’s political advisor, Devender Singh Rana, has been brought into the party’s fold.
Omar also dissolved the provincial committees of both provinces with immediate effect and announced that the same shall be recast in the near future.
The move by Omar is being seen as a strategic shift of focus from the government to the party as he prepares for the 2014 polls. Many feel that Omar’s six-year tenure as Chief Minister will be judged on his performance in both the parliamentary and the assembly elections.