Srinagar: The Sheikh and Shah Families continue to stay divided notwithstanding the efforts put in by various actors including National Conference Additional general secretary, Dr Mustafa Kamal.
In June last year, Kamal predicted reunion of the two families. But it seems the two families are not ready to bury the hatchet, at least not for the time being. Curiously the families were supposed to take a final decision on the re-union by December 2012.
The families split in 1984 when former Chief Minister and founder of Awami National Conference (ANC), Ghulam Muhammad Shah assumed office of the Chief Minister of the state after ousting Dr Farooq Abdullah. Shah’s rule lasted 19 months.
The relation was smoothened a bit when Dr Farooq Abdullah called on his sister, Khalida Shah to enquire about her health in 2012. Omar accompanied his father on that occasion. A family get-together hosted after Kamal’s return from Haj pilgrimage saw the members of both the families under one roof. It is believed that the idea of reunion and merger of AN C into NC was also discussed in a meeting behind closed doors that lasted for quite some time.
Dr Farooq, according to sources, took personal interest in convincing his sister on the merger and also offered a cabinet berth to the party. “Senior Vice President of ANC and nephew of the NC President was to be nominated by the party for membership of the state legislative council. He was also to be inducted into the state cabinet later”, the sources added.
However, while people close to the two families were planning a grand celebration, something happened and the two families could not reunite. Sources close to the families believe the absence of Dr Farooq and Omar Abdullah from a prayer meeting held to commemorate the death anniversary of Ghulam Muhammad Shah last year spoiled the broth.
Preferring anonymity, a senior NC worker told Kashmir Reader that the two families need a strong confidence building measure (CBM) to get closer.