The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Farooq asks flock to pull up socks

Jammu, March 2: The National Conference is gearing up to become an aggressive player in state politics.

After the party’s humiliating defeat to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the Pampore byelection in south Kashmir, the National Conference has decided to pull up its socks.

“We will not be a lacklustre Opposition and react now in kind to the new situation in state politics,” said Mehboob Beig, a former minister and a senior party leader.

Former chief minister Farooq Abdullah had convened the meeting of the National Conference legislature party to discuss the byelection defeat and also to review the party strategy during the ongoing budget session.

Farooq has been waiting and watching for a long time and is now keen that the party plays its role of a strong Opposition.

At the meeting, he made it clear to his party colleagues that they should go hammer and tongs against the government. “There is no need to shy away from taking up any issue because the state belongs to all of us and we cannot allow Mufti or his colleagues to have his way,” he told the legislators.

The National Conference, Farooq admitted, had not been ideal while in power, but what “Mufti is doing is enslaving Kashmir”.

Party MLAs have been asked to expose the human rights violations taking place across the state. Referring to the killing of two persons in Panzgam in Pulwama district by BSF personnel, Farooq slammed the government’s wishy-washy approach on the incident.

Another former minister, Ali Mohammad Sagar, confirmed that his party has decided to bare its fangs. “We have given enough time to the government. Now it is time for all of us to strike.”

National Conference president Omar Abdullah is slated to come here to push forward the party’s new agenda.

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