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Farooq plays proverbial `good boy' yet again
Can he save 80-yr-old NC from imminent doom?
10/13/2019 11:40:08 PM
Early Times Report

Srinagar, Oct 13: True to its traditions, the National Conference leadership has carried forward the legacy of playing the proverbial `good boy' at difficult times yet again.
With people accusing him of a `sellout', the three time Chief Minister and patron of the largest political party in the state will find it difficult to uphold his integrity and credibility in the coming days, it is believed.
According to his own party men, Farooq is not like his father and Kashmir too has changed drastically especially in the past three years. "People are serious, mean business and expect seriousness from the leaders. They cannot be lured by hollow slogans any more," they said.
After meeting the party delegation led by provincial president for Jammu, Devinder Singh Rana last week, a smiling Dr Farooq posed for a photo and flaunted the victory sign. This gesture evoked mixed response from political circles. What did he achieve immediately after the meeting? Was he promised something, or, did he agree as usual to work on purani tankhah ?
The National Conference, political circles believe, has been left with nothing to woo the electorate. According to them, the party used, rather misused Article 370 to befool the gullible Kashmiris. "Now when the article is gone, what will it sell to the people," they question.
National Conference, it is in place to mention here, survived three decades of militancy. The NC cadres were targeted across the state and according to rough estimates, around 9000 workers and leaders were gunned down but it re-emerged after 1996 elections and won all three parliamentary seats in Kashmir valley last year. The Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) candidates including its founder and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti suffered defeat. The people and the government expected stiff resistance post 370 abrogation from the party. Sensing a response from the NC, the authorities jailed the NC leaders even in Jammu where the party does not enjoy mass support. Even Omar Abdullah and Dr Farooq Abdullah were detained. But nothing happened much to the surprise of the authorities. Not only the leaders, the NC workers as well behaved like `good boys'.
A Kashmir watcher recited the following verse to describe this particular trait.
Nadaan girgaye sajday main jab waqt qayaam aaya
(The fools bowed down when they should have stood firmly).
Dr Farooq, it is believed, may be released in the coming days but he has an uphill task to perform to keep his party together. But can he afford it? As they say, Farooq has to walk on the razor's edge after his release. Whether he succeeds in saving the eighty-year-old party from doom remains to be seen.
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