Omar Abdullah’s Resignation – a Stage Managed Show Or An Act of Political Maturity?
When J&K Assembly met today (Tuesday) PDP leader Muzaffar Husain Baig made a dramatic accusation against Omar Abdullah and his father Farooq Abdullah. He alleged that both Omar and Farooq Abdullahs were named in the sex scandal that rocked the state in 2006 and asked Omar Abdullah, the Chief Minister, to resign forthwith as he lost moral grounds to rule the state.
Omar Abdullah, who was sitting calmly till then, rose to make a submission. He categorically stated that as per law of the land, no man is guilty unless proven. However, he went on to say that inasmuch as the PDP leader had made such a serious allegation against him, which he denied, it would d not be possible for him to function until his name was cleared. He therefore proposed to go to Governor and tender his resignation. What followed next was a total pandemonium in the House.
All the members belonging to National Conference immediately rushed to the side of Omar Abdullah and physically tried to prevail upon him to stay put. But the young CM refused and walked away. This totally surprised the PDP MLAs.
Living up to his promise, he went to the Governor and handed over his resignation. Then came the statement of the Home Minister P. Chidambaram, where he clearly said that of the 17 accused in the case, Omar Abdullah’s name was not there in the charge sheet which has been filed in the court. This followed a direction to the Governor of the state not to accept the resignation of the Chief Minister.
Farooq Abdullah, ex-CM and Union Minister, came in high defense of his son Omar. He said Omar has displayed immense political maturity and set a very high moral standard in politics and would not take back his resignation until his name is cleared. He also discounted a theory that he would replace Omar at the state politics as he has more to do as a Union Minister for Renewable Energy.
Now the question arises, why did Omar chose to be emotional on the issue in which he was not at all involved? Was the reaction the result of youthful exuberance or a political one-upmanship or an attempt to escape from the sticky Shopian rape and murder issue that rocked the state recently? All these need to be answered by none other than Omar himself.
PDP called it a stage managed show by the National Conference to escape from the real issues. Earlier PDP MLAs demanded a debate on the very issue of Shopian rape and murder, which was refused by the Speaker on Monday. That led to ruckus in the Assembly so much so that many PDP MLAs were named by the Speaker and removed from the House. Mehbooba Mufti herself was seen rushing menacingly towards the Speaker Lone, wrenching the mike and angrily spoken to him, till she was marshaled out by women marshels.
If Omar Abdullah’s resignation was a drama, which did not appear to be, Mehbooba’s behaviour in the Assembly was more disgusting. What was also unfortunate was the behaviour of the Speaker of Assembly Mr. Lone himself. In such a situation, the Speaker of the Assembly should be calm and cool. But Mr. Lone was seen speaking angrily to the provocation from the PDP MLAs, using personal remarks against some of them. He should have told them calmly using politest language. A Speaker holding a constitutional position, should be apolitical person and seemingly too. But Lone’s behaviour was far from satisfactory. At least in future he should address himself well. Let this be a learning lesson for him and other MLAs too. They are the representatives of the people and the whole country was watching their behaviour and actions. They should behave responsibly in a place like Assembly.
Whatever may be read in-between the lines of the resignation of Omar Abdullah, as a young CM he behaved exemplary well under the circumstances. He did not react violently to the allegation but cooly addressed the Assembly, owning moral responsibility to tender resignation till his name is cleared and his innocence is proven. He was asked by the Governor to continue but later rejected his resignation as unwarranted. It may appear to be an emotional outburst by a young CM but in doing so he set highest moral standard in public life which is worth emulating by others. Whether he was involved or not, it is for the CBI to prove in the court of law, though Home Minister has already given a clean chit to him.
The situation in the state is far from normal due to Shopian rape and murder issue which is still alive. But at this stage, a political uncertainty would plunge the state in further confusion. In the interest of the State and its people, Omar Abdullah should stay put and deal with the situation as strongly as is expected of him. If he still insists that he must go, then people would think that he has no political maturity to tackle ticklish problems of the state. Instead of getting a mis-fit certificate, with Farooq Abdullah, on his side, he should carry on with the business as he has miles to go before he becomes a matured and seasoned politician. Jai Hind.