February 2002 News

Omar set to head National Conference

6 February 2002
The Times of India

NEW DELHI: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday announced that Union Minister of State for External Affairs and his son Omar Abdullah would take over the presidentship of the ruling National Conference from him.''Yes, he will be taking over from me during the convention of the party to be held soon,'' replied Abdullah when asked about the reports suggesting his stepping down as National Conference president.Asked whether disgruntled elements in his party would allow a smooth transfer of power, Abdullah said ''I have not mooted the proposal. He as a worker has been quite popular with the party cadre.''The party''s senior, middle and junior level leaders have been pressurising me to hand over the presidentship of the party to Omar,'' Abdullah told PTI in an interview.''Afterall the older generation has to pave way for the new generation'', he said. The chief minister said that the junior Abdullah had contributed a lot for the people of the state which included setting up of a Software Technology Park.Asked whether Omar would eventually take over as the chief minister as well, he said, ''This will be decided only through elections.''However, no decision has been taken whether Omar will contest the forthcoming Assembly elections or not,'' the chief minister said.


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