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Omar threatens to resign over delay in CSC's new administrative units report

india Updated: Jan 12, 2014 23:42 IST
Tarun Upadhyay
Tarun Upadhyay
Hindustan Times

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah has threatened to resign if the cabinet sub-committee fails to submit its report on the creation of new administrative units in the state, this month. However, coalition partner Congress has said "a herculean task which will cost nearly Rs 7,000 crore cannot be completed in a hurried manner and on diktats".

Omar, while addressing a rally in Jammu on Saturday, had said he would go ahead with the creation of the units in spite of opposition, and reiterated his intent to resign if the committee report was not submitted in time.

"In the last cabinet meeting earlier this month, Omar, while declining to extend the January 15 deadline for the submission of the report, had said he would resign from his post if the report was not submitted in time," a cabinet minister disclosed on the condition of anonymity.

The state government proposes to create 350 new administrative units at various levels, which would involve an expenditure of nearly Rs 7,000 crore, including on creating officers and posts for the administration of the new units.

Two committees headed by Dr SS Billoria and Mushtaq Ahmad Ganai had submitted their reports, but even though the Ganai report was never tabled, some media reports suggested that it discriminated against Jammu region, leading to the constitution of the cabinet sub-committee on July 24 last year.

The committee had been given extensions due to its inability to meet the September 19, 2013, deadline. The CM had directed the committee to submit the report within 14 days, and said the cabinet would take a final decision 20 days later.

The sub-committee was later directed to submit its report on January 15, but since it has not completed its tour of various regions, including Largil and Ladakh districts, the CM had reportedly agreed to give a few days' extension.

"Omar first dictated the terms to the Ganai Commission, and now he is not agreeable to giving another extension. He is eyeing political gains and in the process, he is ignoring the rules of coalition," alleged a senior Congress minister, wishing not to be named.

Sources said that while Omar has said enough time has been given to the sub-committee, the Congress has claimed that the National Conference was "making this report an exception and applying double yardsticks".
"The cabinet sub-committee constituted by the Prime Minister's office to submit a report on the Justice Sagheer Ahmed Working Group on Centre-state relations, has not submitted its report even though it was constituted on January, 2010. Why is Omar is applying different yardsticks?" said a source.

Both parties want to take political credit for creating the new administrative units.

"If the Congress opposes it, the party will be exposed before the people as being insensitive towards the aspirations of the people," said an NC minister.