Farooq meets Sonia, PM; says Omar not quitting

Soon after Rahul Gandhi expressed support for Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister`s handling of his "tough job", Omar`s father Farooq Abdullah, who is also a Central minister, Thursday met Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

New Delhi: 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 Dr 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 Dr 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."