Omar Applauds 'Political Transformation' of Rahul

Two days after Rahul Gandhi stormed the Well in Lok Sabha over "rising" communal violence, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today applauded his "political transformation" and said it is good sign for the Congress in these "difficult" times.

Omar praised the "aggressive" posture and said the Congress leader is "the force" who has to bind the party men together in these difficult times.

"Rahul has always been the one who has been keen to speak. The problem in the last ten years had been that it was his government at the Centre and that more often than not if he had spoken his mind, he ran the risk of being misunderstood. And therefore rightly so he kept his counsel to himself," the NC leader said.

The Chief Minister said "today he is in the opposition and surely Rahul is the force that has to bind the Congress in these difficult times. I am glad that he has spoken out in Parliament and he will continue to do so in the days to come".

On August 6, the Congress general secretary stormed the Well in Lok Sabha raking up the issue of "rising" communal violence and questioned the impartiality of Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.

A reticent Rahul entered the Well for the first time in over 10 years to join his party members in pressing for an adjournment motion to discuss the incidents of communal violence, a demand opposed by the government.

When questioned whether Priyanka Gandhi should join Congress in the days to come, Omar avoided a direct response saying "any other questions please?"

The chief minister also criticised the media for "triggering controversy" to make news on the issue recent row involving a chief engineer and state minister.

"You, mediapersons look at things from one side. You highlighted that the engineer submitted his resignation -- I have no problem with that. But another fact is that the issue was resolved within 24 hours and the engineer resumed his duty but this positive aspect is no news," Omar told reporters on the sideline of a function here today.

"When things go right, they deserve to be highlighted also," Omar said.

The chief minister rejected the demand of action against the minister and insisted that this issue was now a "closed chapter".

The Chief Engineer of PHE department, who had submitted his resignation after allegedly being abused by a Jammu and Kashmir minister, was persuaded into joining the service by state minister Nazir Ahmad Gurezi yesterday.

Chief Engineer Muzaffar Lankar had put in his papers after alleging that CAPD Minister Chaudhary Mohammad Ramzan abused him in a meeting on Friday.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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