Farooq Abdullah not to attend cabinet’s swearing ceremony

May 22nd, 2009 - 7:27 pm ICT by ANI  

Pratibha Patil New Delhi, May 22 (ANI): National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah will not be present at the swearing-in ceremony slated on Friday, as he is flying to South Africa to attend one of the IPL cricket matches.

Abdullah told reporters in New Delhi that his party has not demanded any berths from the Congress, and it only wants the Centre to pay more attention to Jammu and Kashmir.

“It is the prerogative of the Prime Minister and the Chairperson of the UPA. They decide who goes into the cabinet. I want to say that we have a lot of hopes from the UPA to better the state of Jammu and Kashmir and to make the country even more secular. I have booked the tickets a month back. I don’t care about politics as I need a break now,” said Abdullah.

President Pratibha Patil is scheduled to swear-in 19 members of a new cabinet-led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday after his coalition won a second consecutive five-year term in a general election.

Meanwhile, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar told reporters in Patna that his state is now “obstacle free”, referring to RJD Chief Lalu Yadav not being slated for cabinet berths of the UPA.

“The main issue is of coal linkage. We would want that these issues get resolved soon as now there is nobody who will pave an obstacle in Bihar’s development and the Congress needs to take initiative as they are about to form the government,” said Kumar. (ANI)

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