Omar eyeing north Kashmir?

In Run Up To 2014 Polls, NC Lays Its Hands On Kupwara


Srinagar, Jan 25: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah deciding to address rallies in frontier towns of Handwara and Kupwara after the recent cabinet reshuffle indicates that he wants to ensure that north Kashmir remains his party’s strong bastion in 2014 polls.
Thousands of people turning up to attend his rallies in these towns on Thursday took many people by surprise even his political opponents. This was Omar’s maiden visit to these towns after the recent cabinet reshuffle. MLA Handwara, Chaudhary Ramzan, who was inducted into the cabinet earlier this month, was accorded a warm welcome by his supporters at Handwara. “People turned out in large numbers to thank Omar for giving due representation to them in the cabinet by inducting Chaudhary Ramzan in the council of ministers,” said a senior NC leader from Handwara.
He said Omar by reshuffling his pack of ministers had shown immense “political maturity.” “He (Omar) knows that north Kashmir has always been a strong bastion of the ruling National Conference. Omar has inducted Chaudhary Ramzan, Mir Saifullah,Muhammad Akbar Lone and Nazir Ahmed Khan (Gurezi) in the council of ministers at the appropriate time. He wants to ensure that NC retains its seats in north Kashmir,” the leader added.
Analysts were of the opinion that Omar by choosing Handwara and Kupwara towns as the first venues to address rallies after cabinet expansion wanted to prove his critics wrong. “There were some people within his party fold who were not happy with the recent cabinet reshuffle and they had opposed Omar’s decision to revamp his cabinet. Huge participation of the people in Omar’s rallies has silenced his critics,” said a close aide of Omar.
He said the Chief Minister has already sounded the poll bugle. “Omar has made it clear to his party colleagues that he wants to ensure that NC emerges as the single largest party after 2014 polls. Entering into a pre-poll or post-poll alliance with any party is not Omar’s priority,” the aide said. “His priority is to ensure that NC retains the seats which it won during last elections and strengthen its position further.”
The aide claimed that thousands of people attending the rallies of the Chief Minister on Thursday has shaken his political opponents. “MLA Langate Er Rasheed and PDP MLA from Lolab Abdul Haq Khan were also taken aback by Chief Minister’s impressive show in their area,” he added.
Pertinently, during 2008 Assembly elections NC lost only these two seats in the frontier district of Kupwara.
A political observer said: “Omar seems to have matured along with the passage of time. He is not day dreaming and knows it very well that how many seats his party can win in 2014 elections. The recent cabinet reshuffle was a calculated move. He (Omar) wants to ensure that NC remains in power from 2014 to 2020.”

Lastupdate on : Fri, 25 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 25 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 26 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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