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Rahul vs Omar: Kashmir CM blames media for 'imaginary battle'

Chief minister Omar Abdullah today ruled out having any difference with Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi and blamed the media for the "imaginary battle". Peerzada Ashiq reports.

india Updated: Sep 28, 2012 19:41 IST
Peerzada Ashiq
Peerzada Ashiq
Hindustan Times

Chief minister Omar Abdullah on Friday ruled out having any difference with Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi and blamed the media for the "imaginary battle".

"Have to love the media's priorities when my imaginary battle with Rahul is more important than what the president (Pranab Mukherjee) says in Kashmir," Omar posted on micro-blogging site Twitter.

The media was agog with Rahul being unhappy with Omar's handling of the situation after two sarpanches were killed by suspected militants this month, which sparked mass resignation through newspapers where grassroots representatives distanced from the panchayat system.

The speculations were fuelled by Rahul's rare gesture to go public with his concern over the killing of grassroots representatives. "It is a serious development and they (public representatives) should be provided security," said Rahul in Delhi recently.

Rahul's statement was followed by a delegation of frightened grassroots representatives meeting him in New Delhi on Thursday. Though Omar in Srinagar said he had no reservation with public representatives meeting Rahul. "If they want to share their concern with New Delhi, I cannot stop it," said Omar.

The difference between the coalition partners in Kashmir has also came to fore recently when J-K Pradesh Congress Committee Saifuddin Soz share a letter, where he expressed concern over slow pace of empowerment of panchayats and demanded incorporation of 73rd and 74th amendments, was shared with the media. The letter was shared immediately after Rahul expressed his concern in Delhi.

Omar, however, took strong notice of Soz's move and declined to make the amendments suggested by the Congress. "We have our own constitution. We need not to take anything from Indian constitution," said angry Omar, adding "two Congress ministers were against giving full powers to sarpanches at block level".

Sources said Omar might have issues with the local unit of Congress but there is no bitterness between ruling the National Conference and Congress high command in Delhi, neither any annoyance between Omar and Rahul.

Omar, in an obvious move to send across message outside the valley not to hype the killings said, "Those who hyperbolise these killings here should compare it with what was happening in Bihar and other states. Why nobody is comparing the killings with other states".

First Published: Sep 28, 2012 19:39 IST