All-party delegation in J&K on Monday; NC gets lease of life news
16 September 2010

New Delhi: It has been decided that an all-party delegation will visit Jammu & Kashmir on Monday to assess the ground situation. It is expected that the delegation will meet all sections of the people and familiarise itself with all shades of public opinion.

J&K chief minister Omar AbdullahMeanwhile evidence of intense politicking behind the scenes became apparent with National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi earlier in the day. Their meet came just ahead of a meeting of the Congress Core Group, which is expected to ponder over the situation in the Kashmir Valley.

Jettisoning his 'sulk' position J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah apparently met the state Governor and briefed him on the latest situation. The younger Abdullah, son of party leader Farooq, took a substantial battering to his image when a government meet earlier in the week spoke about 'governance deficit' and 'trust deficit' in the valley.

His desperate attempt to get Delhi to agree to repeal or amend the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) as a sop to be offered to the Valley was turned down by the government and an indictment, instead was offered of his governance.

The National Conference's attempt to push the argument through yesterday at the all-party meet at the PM's residence also failed to cut any ice with other political parties.

Complicating matters for the father and son duo was the fact that J&K opposition party, the People's Democratic Party (PDP), suddenly appeared to be on an upswing with party chief Mehbooba Sayeed and her father Mufti Mohammed Sayeed arriving in Delhi expressly at the invitation of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and prime minister Manmohan Singh and the Mufti having a late night meeting with the prime minister after the all-party meet yesterday.

The pendulum appears to have swung the other way with Rahul Gandhi endorsing Omar Abdullah's continuation as chief minister and also putting to rest all speculation about the Congress ditching the National Conference and taking onboard the PDP.

At a press conference in Kolkata, Rahul had said, "The government has supported Omar Abdullah. National Conference is the party in power. He is a youngster. Kashmir is a difficult place. Omar is doing a tough job and he should be given time and support."

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All-party delegation in J&K on Monday; NC gets lease of life