National Conference chief Omar Abdullah has sent feelers to former IAS officer Shah Faesal saying he was "free to choose" to join his party. Shah Faesal, who resigned from the administrative services in protest against the centre's policies on Kashmir, sparked controversy by saying that little had been done to solve the problems of the state. Mr Abdullah today said that should Mr Faesal choose to join the National Conference, he could arrange for that to happen.
"Shah Faesal is free to choose, he can go wherever he wants to. If he wants to join the National Conference, I can definitely get that arranged," Mr Abdullah told the media in Jammu and Kashmir capital Srinagar, according to news agency ANI.
Sources close to Mr Faesal said he would enter politics and would contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from North Kashmir's Baramulla constituency. His social media posts, announcing his resignation, were also seen as strong indicators of his reported intention to join politics.
"To protest against the unabated killings in Kashmir and lack of any sincere reach-out from the Union government; the marginalization and invisiblisation of around 200 million Indian Muslims at the hands of Hindutva forces reducing them to second-class citizens; insidious attacks on the special identity of the J&K state and growing culture of intolerance and hate in the mainland India in the name of hyper-nationalism, I have decided to resign from IAS," Mr Faesal said in a Facebook post.
Mr Faesal has so far remained silent as to which party he would join. However, he ruled out joining the Hurriyat Conference, saying he was "a man from the system" and that he rejected the notion of the Hurriyat Conference to "not subscribe to electoral politics," according to news agency IANS.
"He left the service to serve the people, he has to decide in what role he can do that in the best way possible," Mr Abdullah said.
Mr Faesal topped the IAS exam in 2010 and was given his home cadre of Jammu and Kashmir.
Over the years, he worked as District Magistrate, Director of School Education and Managing Director of the state-owned Power Development Corporation.
Shah Faesal recently returned from the US after completing his Fulbright fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School.
(With Inputs From ANI And IANS)