National Conference meet inconclusive as both Abdullahs absent


Srinagar: The crucial National Conference (NC) legislature party meet Sunday ended without reaching any decision on the party’s stand on the Afzal Guru clemency resolution likely to come up for voting during the state assembly session beginning here Monday.

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Surprisingly neither the party patron, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, nor its president, Omar Abdullah, attended the meeting which was chaired by senior party leader and Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather.

The meeting ended without reaching any consensus on the crucial issue whether the NC would vote in favour of the Afzal Guru clemency resolution or not.

The resolution has been submitted to the speaker by Engineer Rashid, legislator from north Kashmir’s Langate constituency.

The opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has already announced its decision to vote in favour of the resolution.

Asked why the NC legislature party meeting was not attended by either Abdullah, Rather said: “They could not attend the meeting because of pressing official engagements. We shall be meeting again to decide the party’s stand on the resolution”.

For the ruling NC, it is a catch-22 situation. If the NC does not vote in favour of the resolution, its rivals would exploit the issue since Kashmiris overwhelmingly favour clemency for the parliament attack convict.

If the NC chooses to vote in favour of the clemency resolution, its cost would be heavy on the NC’s alliance partner, the Congress as the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would blame the Congress for aligning with a regional party that succumbed to secessionist sentiments.