Chief Minister Omar Abdullah may have played a perfect host to the visiting team of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge on the occasion of flag off ceremony of first train between Qazikund and Banihal but when it was their turn to acknowledge the Chief Ministers presence goof on the part of senior railway authorities created an embarrassing situation for both Omar and Sonia Gandhi.
According to highly placed official sources, during a group photograph of railway engineers with the Prime Minister and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Railway Minister the name of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was missing and realizing this he decided to stay back and waited in the corner to avoid any scene.
It is during this time Sonia Gandhi probably realised that Omar was standing alone and she asked Congress MP Lal Singh to inform Omar Abdullah about the photo opportunity and join the VVIP’s in the group.
According to those privy with the scene on ground zero as Lal Singh approached Chief Minister and conveyed to him the message of the Congress President Omar initially showed some reluctance but on being insisted to join the group he hesitatingly walked alongside Lal Singh and stood behind Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge but not at the spot where he was expected to stand for the photo opportunity.
If this was not enough Omar Abdullah faced another piquant situation while the top brass of the leaders were sitting on the stage and the public present in the rally were shouting slogans hailing congress leaders.
When local Congress MLA Viqar Rasool realised this he is learnt to have pointed fingers towards Omar Abdullah as if directing his supporters to hail leadership of Omar Abdullah but before the supporters present in the ground could sing paeans Omar Abdullah directed Viqar Rasool not to indulge in such behaviour. According to local congress workers the public rally at Banihal was completely a congress party show and only a handful of National Conference leaders were present on the occasion which apparently did not go down well with the chief Minister.