Omar meets Sonia ahead of BJP’s Srinagar flag hoisting

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

NEW DELHI/JAMMU - Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah met Congress president Sonia Gandhi Wednesday ahead of Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) planned march to the troubled state and unfurling of the tricolour in Srinagar on Republic Day that has caused a major worry for the state.

“The two leaders discussed various issues pertaining to the economic and political developments in the state. They also discussed the general situation in Jammu and Kashmir and challenges ahead on various other fronts,” an official statement said in Jammu.

They also reviewed the functioning of the coalition government and expressed “satisfaction” over its working, the statement said.

Gandhi “assured the chief minister of her and her party’s full support for successful implementation of development schemes and strengthening of coalition government to ensure welfare and prosperity in all regions of the state”.

Abdullah also apprised Gandhi of the efforts of his government to address the unemployment issue and sought her support in the task to seek better future for the youth of the state.

During the meeting, sources said, Abdullah also discussed a possible reshuffle in his two-year-old government in which the Congress is the second largest party with 17 lawmakers after the National Conference which has 28 in the 87-member assembly.

Abdullah was in the capital to meet Home Minister P. Chidambaram amid the state government’s fears that the BJP’s planned march may cause law and order problem in the state in the midst of prevailing peace following months of deadly street protests in the Kashmir Valley last summer in which 112 people were killed, mostly in firing by paramilitary forces and the state police

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