Omar Abdullah to be chief minister for six years, deputy from Jammu (Lead)

January 2nd, 2009 - 7:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia GandhiNew Delhi, Jan 2 (IANS) A meeting of Jammu and Kashmir coalition partners, the National Conference (NC) and the Congress, Friday decided there would be no rotation of the chief minister’s post between the two parties in the state and the NC’s Omar Abdullah will head the government for the full six-year term. “There will not be any rotational chief ministership and there will be a deputy chief minister from the Jammu region,” Omar Abdullah, who is also NC’s president, told reporters.

Congress sources disclosed the deputy chief minister would be from their party.

Omar said: “I told the Congress president (Sonia Gandhi) during my meeting with her that there should be no rotation of chief minister’s post since it creates a situation of uncertainty and she was convinced.”

The oath-taking of the new 25-member ministry would be held in Srinagar Jan 5, a day ahead of a meeting of all chief ministers convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss internal security.

Sonia Gandhi is expected to attend the swearing-in.

Abdullah said there would be no tainted minister in his cabinet and both parties had agreed to this.

Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmad, meanwhile, told reporters that other details of government formation like the names of ministers and their portfolios would be announced later.

Asked how the Congress would reconcile to the NC speaking of autonomy for the state and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of separate currency in the region, he said: “We don’t agree with any issues contentious to the integrity of India”.

“We have formed an alliance with NC, which has rejected the separatists,” Ahmad said.

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