Pressure is mounting on chief minister Omar Abdullah to quit after the ruling National Conference (NC)-Congress combine drew a blank from Jammy and Kashmir in the Parliamentary elections.
"Omar should tender his resignation as he has lost the moral right to rule the state," said Vibodh Gupta, senior vice president of state BJP. "The coalition government has been rejected outright by the people across the state. People have rebuffed the NC which tried to be-fool them on autonomy bogey."
Of the six seats in the state, Mehbooba Mufti led-PDP won three and the BJP won the other three. Omar's father and NC leader Farooq Abdullah lost the contest in Srinagar while Congress doyen Ghulam Nabi Azad too bit the dust in Udhampur. The rout has been absolute considering NC has lost in 39 of the 46 assembly segments of the Kashmir valley.
Party leaders concede that they should quit office and work at the grassroots level to stem the rot. "It is better we go for massive overhaul before it is too late," said a NC leader on condition of anonymity.
Omar too hinted that he may leave, but eventually put the ball in the party's court. "This is my defeat more than anybody else and I will not sugarcoat that. Does the alliance or my party need me to fall on my sword to recover from here that is something my party can decide. If they want me I will have no hesitation," said Omar.
Main opposition PDP is keeping is not demanding Omar's resignation yet. PDP sources said the party wants Omar to continue so that it can cash in on the people's anger ahead of the assembly polls in six months. "We want him to continue because his regime is the most hated in J&K. The longer he continues, the more the anger will grow. We want to cash in on this because that will translate into votes in the assembly polls," said a top PDP leader.