All of a sudden, everybody in Srinagar seems to be taking a new plunge to fight for their political targets. Jammu and Kashmir government led by Omar Abdullah, which completed four years in office on Saturday, thanked the people for their support to put back the state on the path to peace, progress and prosperity.
National Conference organized a public meeting in Polo Ground to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the coalition government. Interestingly, the largest opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) organized an anti-government rally just fifty yards away from Polo Ground in Sher-e-Kashmir Park, outside its party headquarters.
Incidentally, it was Jan 5, when pro-freedom organizations were busy stressing on the implementation of UN resolutions vis-?-vis Kashmir as always. Hurriyat Conference (G) organized a seminar at Hyderpora in favor of the Security Council resolution of 1949, while as the two largest mainstream parties, NC and PDP were shouting slogans in favor of Autonomy and Self Rule in Polo Ground and Sher-e-Kashmir Park.
The vehicles carrying the workers and supporters of NC and PDP even got mingled at Radio Kashmir crossing and Zero Bridge. The security personnel too were frustrated to see ‘green’ and ‘red’ flags travelling the same way.
“We are practically very frustrated because we have to identify the workers of NC and PDP and to lead them separately,” said a police sub inspector on duty at Radio Kashmir crossing.
On eve of the completion of four years in office, chief minister, Omar Abdullah, thanked the people of the state for their immense support to him.
“Thank you … to the people of J&K for their faith, support and participation in moving the state towards a peaceful and prosperous future,” Omar said.
“Four years ago, with hope in our hearts, we pledged to bring peace, prosperity and progress to the state. The journey has been long but we have moved forward because of you, the people of J&K,” he said in advertisements carried by all major local dailies of the state.
The Chief Minister claimed that while the state has been transformed over the past four years and a lot has been achieved, a lot more has to be done in this direction.”Today, four years on, we re-dedicate ourselves to reach greater heights,” he added.
Omar became the first Chief Minister of the state in the past decade to hold the office for more than three years and is likely to complete six-year term in office.
Omar’s father, Union Minister Farooq Abdullah, was the last Chief Minister in the state to last full term from 1996-2002.
Farooq’s successors and Omar’s predecessors – Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mufti Mohammad Sayeed held the post for three years each from 2002 to 2008 as part of power sharing agreement between PDP and Congress.
Although Omar’s National Conference is ruling the state in a coalition with Congress, the latter has foregone its claim to rotational Chief Ministership.