Farooq Abdullah, they say, is the Lalu Prasad of Kashmir. When it comes to amusing people, nobody can beat the senior Abdullah in his state. After reluctantly handing over chief ministership to his son, Farooq is now using his charm and wit to win the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat. In a speech, he branded PDP leader Mufti Sayeed a liar, and left the people in splits when he said that when Mufti dies, he would like to use a stethoscope to eavesdrop on what answer he would give God. Farooq is also learning to play the guitar these days, giving his detractors grist for the mill. They say this is what he’ll do if he wins, instead of addressing peoples’ problems. Farooq might have taken this in his stride, but his humour didn’t last long when he was confronted by his nephew during a programme on Radio Kashmir. He was provoked enough by questions about the NC’s rule in the state to stage a walkout. In the Srinagar constituency, Farooq is pitted against his estranged sister Khalida Shah. Both families have been at loggerheads since 1984, when Khalida’s husband staged a rebellion in the Farooq-led National Conference, and became the J&K CM himself.
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