*Dr Sahab will no longer challenge polls: Tanvir Sadiq; Party sets Dec. 5 for Prez polls; Dr Farooq says he will continue to lead the party until the elections; Party leaders say Omar is favorite for new leader, but it could be anyone else; Time to inject new energy into the party, will continue to benefit from Dr Sahab’s experience: NC leaders*
Srinagar: The national conference on Friday hinted that its outgoing leader and J&K’s oldest politician, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, may rest from politics and that the new leader will lead the herd from December 5 this year, the day when the party will hold presidential elections.
The party in its ballot notification chose December 5, the anniversary of the birth of its late patriarch and founder Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, for the election of the new leader. Dr Farooq, however, will continue to remain the NC chair until the new leader is elected by delegates on December 5. “I haven’t quit yet. I will remain the leader of the NC until the elections for the post of president are held, ”said the octogenarian leader. Dr Farooq was reacting to media reports suggesting he had already resigned as NC leader.
While J&K has witnessed a shift in political territory vis-à-vis politics following the revocation of Section 370 on August 5, 2019, NC insiders said the party’s top-down leadership felt the need to inject new energy into UT’s oldest party. “There was a desire that the party needed to make some changes at the leadership and also at the lower and middle level, so steps are underway and the election of a new president is part of the same rejuvenation process,” said one of the elders. NC guards, wishing not to be named. He, however, said the party would continue to benefit from “Dr Sahab’s decade-old political career and vast experience”. “Put simply, he will continue to guide us and we will continue to benefit from his political experience. Electing a new leader does not mean that Dr Sahab will fly to London and settle there…” he said.
NC Chief Spokesman Tanvir Sadiq told KNO that Dr Farooq will not challenge the Assembly’s upcoming polls. “This is what Dr Farooq sahab thinks about the elections… Let’s see what happens in the future,” he said. “Let the elections take place on December 5, and we will have a new party leader. Party delegates will choose the new president.
Interestingly, the party recently announced the names of constituency officials for Kashmir in a bid to boost the morale of party cadres across the valley. The new precinct chiefs frequent their areas and meet with people to assess the situation on the ground, gather feedback from workers, and formulate “a new strategy on the feedback received from Ground Zero.”
“The party is not in sleep mode and rather we are in contact with our workers. There is no denying that after the repeal of Section 370 the political atmosphere has changed and we as the oldest party are looking for suggestions from our workers, old and new,” a newly named constituency said. in charge of the party, wishing not to be named.
Asked if Omar was set to take over and lead the herd after December 5, he said the majority of party leaders would obviously vote for Omar but “you never know…”. “NC believes in democracy… Maybe someone else can emerge victorious as party leader…”
Party sources said the name of the new party leader will be announced by Dr Farooq himself at the mausoleum of party founder Sheikh Abdullah in Hazratbal, Srinagar on December 05—(KNO)