After Farooq Abdullah Indicates Another INDIA Setback, Son Omar Clarifies

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After Farooq Abdullah Indicated Another INDIA Setback, Son Omar Clarifies

National Conference leaders Farooq Abdullah (L) and his son, Omar Abdullah (File).

Srinagar:

The National Conference is part of the Congress-led INDIA bloc, ex-Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said this evening, hours after “categorical” assertions by Farooq Abdullah, his father and also a former Chief Minister, that the party “will contest elections on its own strength”.

Omar Abdullah said the NC will remain part of INDIA and is, in fact, in talks with the Congress for three of six Lok Sabha seats in Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

“We were part of INDIA and still are… things have been taken out of context. The main idea of the grouping is to defeat the BJP, for there is no point in sailing in two boats,” he said.

Significantly, Mr Abdullah said this with his father his side.

Earlier today Farooq Abdullah’s strongly-worded comments caused a flutter within INDIA, which is scrambling for survival after it was dumped by Nitish Kumar, the Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) boss, who was a founding member of a bloc meant to unite the opposition to defeat the BJP.

READ | Farooq Abdullah’s Party To Fight Alone In J&K In Another Setback For INDIA

INDIA has also been sidelined in Bengal by the Trinamool Congress, and in Delhi and Punjab by the ruling Aam Aadmi Party, after the three failed to agree seat-sharing deals.

READ | INDIA Unity Takes Hit From Bengal. Hours Later, Another From Punjab

And, in Uttar Pradesh, the alliance is expected to lose Jayant Chaudhary’s Rashtriya Lok Dal to the BJP, despite the outfit having agreed a deal last month with the Samajwadi Party of Akhilesh Yadav.

READ | “Had Limited Time To Make Decision…”: RLD Leader On BJP Alliance Buzz

Farooq Abdullah’s comment came as a surprise give the three-time former J&K Chief Minister was a strong supporter of the INDIA bloc idea and attended all its meetings.

“There should be no questions on this alliance anymore,” he declared earlier today.

Last month he expressed his concern over the lack of consensus within the bloc on seat-sharing deals, worries also flagged earlier by Nitish Kumar, Mamata Banerjee, and others, including Mr Yadav.

“If we have to save the country, we have to forget (our) differences…” he had said.

Farooq Abdullah was recently summoned by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with alleged financial irregularities within the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association. 

READ | Farooq Abdullah Summoned For Questioning In Money Laundering Case

The case involves alleged siphoning of funds through transfers to personal bank accounts of unrelated parties, and unexplained cash withdrawals from the association’s accounts.

Farooq Abdullah skipped the summons and, in an e-mail and letter to the probe agency’s officials, cited being out-of-town as the reason for his non-appearance.

With input from PTI

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