Setback to NC as senior leader quits

Setback to NC as senior leader quits

Days after Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah decided against seeking re-election from Ganderbal Assembly constituency,  the National Conference (NC) on Wednesday received another setback when its senior leader and MLC from the area, Sheikh Ghulam Rasool resigned from the party.

In his resignation letter to Omar, who is also working president of the NC, Sheikh said, “As the party affairs in Ganderbal have deteriorated and people alienated, I could not accept the party mandate to contest election in Ganderbal offered by you through senior party leaders.”

Sheikh, a former Chief Secretary of the state, had joined the NC post retirement in 1996. The resignation letter reveals that Sheikh was disappointed for being ignored by the NC in last six years.

“During your stewardship (as chief minister) of past six years, I did not get occasion even of consultative nature either in state affairs or in Ganderbal matters, organisational or administrative,” it reads.

Sources told Deccan Herald that Sheikh is likely to join opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of  scheduled from November 25 to December 20 in five phases.

Omar, on October 31, decided against seeking re-election from Ganderbal, ending the decades-old relationship of the Abdullah family with the constituency. The chief minister, who decided to contest from Sonwar in Srinagar and Beerwah in Budgam, brushed off criticism over fighting from two constituencies saying,

..“So when PM candidates do it, do we take that as a sign of weakness too or are we conspicuously silent at that time?”However, political analysts say there is no denying the fact that the NC has been severely jolted by the Abdullah family scion leaving his lair. Ganderbal has been the bastion of the Abdullahs since 1975, since the time of Omar’s grandfather and NC founder, Sheikh Muhammad.

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