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Farooq Meets Sonia, PM; Says Omar Not Quitting

New Delhi, Sep 16: Amid reports of PDP move to revive ties with Congress, National Conference President Farooq Abdullah on Thursday  met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after which he declared
PTI September 16, 2010 20:54 IST
PTI
New Delhi, Sep 16: Amid reports of PDP move to revive ties with Congress, National Conference President Farooq Abdullah on Thursday  met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after which he declared that Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was not going to step down.  

The senior Abdullah, who is Union Minister for Renewable Energy, refused to divulge details of his discussions with Gandhi and Singh, terming the talks as "private". He, however, asserted that Omar Abdullah was not going to resign and blamed the media for "creating situations" and "tragedy for the country".  

Omar Abdullah has "no intention of stepping down nor is there any such move being made," the NC chief told reporters. Attacking the media, he said it plays "tricks" so that "one fellow should go down and second fellow should come up".  

To justify his targeting of the media, he referred to former Minister of State for External Affairs and said "do you hear anything about Shashi Tharoor now since he is gone. That is what you people do". His charge against the media came against the backdrop of a news report that PDP patron Mufti Sayeed had met Gandhi and Singh here in an apparent effort to revive ties.  

PDP and Congress ran a coalition government for four-and-a-half years till August 2008, when their ties turned bitter over controversy over transfer of a piece of land to Amarnath Shrine Board.  

Asked whether he was disappointed that the Centre had not agreed to withdrawal of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Farooq Abdullah replied in the negative and argued that such decisions had to be taken while considering security aspects.  

"These things don't happen like this that we say... these things take time. They (Central government) have to study situations, they have to study situations at borders of the state. Integrity of the country is the most vital," he said. The former Chief Minister said a decision in this regard would be taken but he was not expecting it to "happen like this".  

On the all-party delegation going to the state, Abdullah said it was a "goodwill" visit and whosoever wants to meet them would meet. "Nobody is going to push anybody." PTI