Omar Abdullah takes responsibility for defeat, undecided on stepping down

Omar Abdullah takes responsibility for defeat, undecided on stepping down

Omar Abdullah takes responsibility for defeat, undecided on stepping down

Expressing shock over the rout of the Congress-National Conference (NC) ruling alliance in Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Friday took responsibility for the defeat, but said he had not decided to step down.

"I am not the one who shies away from responsibility. I accept complete responsibility for our defeat in the Lok Sabha election in the state," the chief minister told a hurriedly convened media conference in Srinagar Friday.

Asked whether after taking responsibility for the defeat, he would step down, Abdullah said: "I am still grappling with the question whether I should continue or not.

"We did not expect to do this badly. Nobody expected this. The result is entirely unexpected," Abdullah said, adding that it would be for his party (NC) to decide whether to field him as the chief ministerial candidate during the state elections due later this year.

"It is for the party to decide whether they want to field me as the chief ministerial candidate in the assembly elections.

"If you have watched my election campaign, we fought the polls on national issues. Performance of the state government was not an issue.

"Yes, there are lessons to learn. I think the next three to four months are not going to be easy. It is going to be a tall order, but it is not impossible," he said.

Asked whether his alliance partners in the Congress were responsible for the defeat of NC candidates in the Valley, Abdullah said: "How can I blame them. We have done badly in assembly constituencies, which are represented by our cabinet ministers."

Talking about the national scene, he said it is the first time after 1984 that there would possibly be a single party government at the Centre.

"That would have implications. Clearly, we underestimated (Narendra) Modi's effect on these elections.

"I cannot this time comment on the impact of these elections on the political scene of the country. That will have to be deliberated upon," he said.

In the end, he said: "Good luck to Modi. He has the majority, but my understanding of the constitution says article 370 cannot be revoked without consent of Jammu and Kashmir constituent assembly which isn't there any way.
"So that remains only an academic issue."