I won't be caged in, says Omar Abdullah

Written by: Pti
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Omar Abdullah
Srinagar, Oct 8: In a sharp counter-attack against opposition PDP, J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday dubbed the party as "utterly irresponsible" and told it bluntly that he was not "going to be caged in" by their "vicious" campaign for his ouster.

"They have always been uncomfortable with me. They have never loved the idea of my being the chief minister," Omar said in answer to questions on PDP's demand for his resignation in the wake of the death of a National Conference (NC) worker Haji Syed Yusuf in police custody.

PDP led by father-daughter duo of Mufti Mohammed Sayeed and Mehbooba Mufti "was willing to sacrifice everything to keep me out of power", he said, adding, "it will do anything to topple my government irrespective of consequences for them or for the state."

Recalling the political manoeuvres that followed the 2008 assembly elections in which none of the three principal parties, Congress, NC or PDP, got a clear majority, Omar said that PDP had made offers to the Congress to be part of a coalition in which they would even not take any ministries.

Therefore, PDP's bitterness against NC was not surprising, "but they do not realise that I am not going to be caged in like this," Omar said.

It was "deeply frustrating" for PDP that the state under NC-Congress coalition government had one of its best years in decades in terms of development, peace and tourism, he said.

The fact that the state had had extremely successful elections to Panchayats who had now been empowered, "was something they are uncomfortable with", Omar said.

Ruling out his resignation, the chief minister said he Ruling out his resignation, the Chief Minister said he would not yield to "enemies" wanting to topple him for doing his duty to the people of the state. "That is not the way I am made. I have been taught differently by my parents. I went to a school whose motto was 'never give in' and I definitely am not going to give in on this," he said.

Omar was asked a number of questions on the events of September 29 when Yusuf and two other NC workers had been called to his residence in Srinagar. The two workers, Abdul Salam Reshi and Mohammed Yusuf Bhat, had complained that Yusuf had taken over Rs 1 crore from them for getting them membership of legislative council or ministerships.

Narrating that day's events at his official residence, Omar said that when he found that the allegation against Yusuf was of a serious nature to merit a police case, he had immediately asked minister of state for home Nasir Wani to call the IG (Crime) Raja Aijaz and hand the three over to him so that the police could proceed in this matter.

"As far as I was concerned, my involvement in this case ended at that point. It is only unfortunate that the next day Haji Yusuf died of a massive heart attack and the political opposition has tried to make a controversy out of it," he said.


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