Farooq Abdullah endorses Omar as chief ministerial candidate (Lead)

December 29th, 2008 - 2:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Dec 29 (IANS) National Conference (NC) chief patron Farooq Abdullah Monday endorsed his son Omar Abdullah as the party’s chief ministerial candidate in Jammu and Kashmir after many flip-flops on the decision. The NC emerged as the single largest party in the assembly polls and is looking to form a coalition government with the Congress.”My father Dr. Farooq Abdullah told me in the morning that he would like to play a larger role in national politics and also work for the peace process between India and Pakistan,” Omar Abdullah told reporters at his Gupkar home in the state’s summer capital Srinagar.

Ending the suspense on the party’s nominee for the chief minister’s post, Farooq Abdullah said: “I had already thought of taking care of the party and playing a role in national politics.

“There is no confusion about Omar’s choice as the party’s chief ministerial candidate which will soon be endorsed here by the NC legislature party in its meeting.”

As the NC managed to retain the 28 seats it won in the 2002 elections, Farooq Abdullah said he was ready to shake hands with the Congress, which managed to get 17 seats, to give the troubled state its second coalition government. The coalition will have 45 seats, one above the halfway mark.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi is scheduled to hold talks over the issue with former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and senior party leader from the state Saifuddin Soz in New Delhi later Monday afternoon. Till the meeting, the partyis officially not saying anything about the formation of the next government.

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