Presidential election NC’s strategy crucial as leadership in no mood to ‘offend’ ruling BJP ….!

TNN Bureau. Updated: 6/23/2022 1:09:06 AM Front Page

Jammu: Even as National Conference chief Dr Farooq Abdullah ‘bowed out’ of opposition’s first round ‘find’ for Presidential election, contending J&K as ‘priority’, the party’s strategy will be crucial if elections happen. Will the party abstain or vote in favour of ruling BJP nominee is not anybody’s guess nor that easy line to be followed by the NC leadership.
Sources said the party’s supremo may well have declined the opposition offer as nominee for country’s highest constitutional post, but in the event of election taking place on July 18, the high command is not ‘clear’ about which ‘way’ to go, rather in dilemma for political reasons. “Dr Abdullah ‘conveniently withdrew his name after it emerged as joint consensus of opposition parties but more than this it will be difficult for the party MPs to choose their side” said a senior leader of Kashmir.
Sources within the party confirmed the party high command is in no mood nor can it afford to annoy the ruling BJP in so far as the Presidential poll is concerned. On opposition’s call for joint meeting few days back Dr Abdullah along with Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti participated but he was clear what steps to follow if his name emerged, sources said. Even though he used the expressions like J&K passing through critical juncture and navigating his priorities right, this was only an excuse or the face saving tactic.
Dr Farooq Abdullah knew there was uncertainty as to final outcome of result. He consciously opted out knowing well it was a losing battle. But more than that his strategy of saying ‘flat no’ had other reasons too, said the sources admitting the high command doesn’t wish to take up fresh cudgels against BJP. NC is already on a very weak, rather sticky wicket politically. Moreover, there are a couple of cases investigating agencies can aggressively act upon anytime against the high command, said the sources admitting they are already unnerved as to what will be in store for them if things get unfolded in that context. At no cost and at no point of time they would do anything that goes against the interests of BJP.
The NC high command, pertinently has been adopting a low tone in comparison with Mehbooba Mufti for the same reason. The party in fact wants to ‘fence bridges’ with BJP for more than just one reason but the latter for now is not showing any keenness, said the sources.
In the backdrop of these realities, it is not a big deal that NC might vote in favour of ruling party nominee openly. If they feel any reservations on that, the party might abstain from voting, sources further said explaining the dilemma of the party leadership.

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