NC needs me for some more time: Farooq
19 October 2002
SRINAGAR: The National Conference patron, Farooq Abdullah''s mood has not apparently been affected by the stunning defeat his party suffered in the recent Assembly elections. On the last day as Chief Minister on October 17, Dr. Abdullah inaugurated the All India Police Golf Tournament. The venue was the Royal Spring Golf Course — his dream project — spread over 300 acres of lush greenery in the Zabarwan hills. By the side of Dr. Abdullah was his confidant, Ashok Jaitly, who had served him as Chief Secretary. The tournament was to be inaugurated by the Governor, G.C. Saxena, but Dr. Abdullah kept his date with the game. The golf course, constructed at a cost of Rs. 40 crores, is said to be one of the best. Dr. Abdullah had come under severe criticism for the huge expenditure the project incurred. Later, Dr. Abdullah drove to the Raj Bhavan and requested the Governor to relieve him of the charge as caretaker Chief Minister since the term of the Assembly expired that midnight. Addressing a news conference later, Dr. Abdullah said he would not quit politics. ''I would have retired but under these circumstances I think I shall have to continue. The National Conference, shattered after the poll results, needs me for some more time.'' Mr. Abdullah defended his son Omar Abdullah, president of the party, saying he (Omar) was not to be blamed for the poll defeat as he had been heading the party only for three months now. He was capable and energetic. Dr. Abdullah said his party would stage a comeback. ''I shall come back with a thumping majority'', he declared, indicating his intention to stay put.