PDP-HQ or Parallel-Secretariat?Party leaders,workers summon senior officials for ‘meetings’


Srinagar: In brazen violation of the government protocol, the ruling People’s Democratic Party has started “summoning” government officials to its party headquarters here only to issue directives on administrative matters.
On May 31, the PDP head office at the Sher-e-Kashmir Park near the City centre “summoned” the Srinagar Municipal Corporation top-brass for a meeting, which lasted for around two hours.
Officials confirmed that right from the SMC Commissioner, Bashir Ahmed Khan to Joint Commissioners to Ward Officers, almost two dozen officials ensured   their presence at the “high level” meeting which was hosted by PDP leaders and workers, alike.
The government functionaries were asked to “perform, as per the party directives, or perish.” PDP confirmed that the meeting was chaired by its leader and MLC Muhammad Khurshid Aalam, and while party leader and hotelier Abdul Hameed Koshin presided over the event. MLA Batamaloo Noor Muhammad was also present at the meeting.
Taking at dig at the SMC, the party workers pulled up the civic body for not “properly meeting” their demands including installation of streetlights and “hassle-free constructions in the civil lines area like Raj Bagh, Dalgate, Karan Nagar, Jawahar Nagar and Bemina.”
Sources privy to the meeting said the SMC Commissioner was pulled up by the PDP members that there was “undue delay in land-filling of the Doodh Ganga canal in Batmaloo, where party workers are scheduled to be rehabilitated in the coming days.”
Sources said the PDP leaders told the SMC officials that they should not pay any heed to “media campaign” against land-filling of this canal, which provided natural outlet to flood waters in 2014.
“Once you have a nod from the highest level for executing this work, what prevents you from completing it on war-footing,” insiders quoted a PDP leader as having asked the SMC. Though the PDP leaders sought immediate burial of the Doogh Ganga canal, environmental experts and civil society is up in arms over the development saying the City was being made more flood-prone.
Pleading that the PDP-led government was ruling the state, meeting hosts had a veiled warning for the officials. “Those who cannot perform should pack their bags,” the officials were allegedly told.
Government officials have taken serious note of the “dictatorial policy” of making them behave like political workers. “As an official how come I am bound to attend meetings at any political office where Halka Presidents give me directions on what to do and what not to,” asked a government employee.
Interestingly it was for the second time that the SMC officials were directed to visit the PDP headquarters. Initially the meeting was scheduled for May 30 at 4:00 PM. “But when we reached the PDP office, we were told that the meeting has been postponed by a day,” said a SMC official asking not to be named.
An official, who is at the verge of retirement said it was for the first time in his service tenure that administration was being made to attend official meeting at political offices. “Though we were invited for the meeting, I will call it summon,” he added.
Sources said the PDP leaders mostly spoke of the five constituencies, which the party won in the last Assembly elections whereas old City, the Shaher-e-Khaas was ignored.
But PDP leader Abdul Hameed Koshin refuted the allegations over discrimination. “Khurshid (Aalam) who chaired the meeting started with focus on old City whereas our party had called representatives from all the eight constituencies, so how come was there any discrimination,” Koshin told Kashmir Observer.
He said it was the second meeting as part of a new initiative, whereby meetings would be held with various government agencies over developmental issues of Srinagar. “The next meeting is scheduled be held with LAWDA officials,” confirmed a PDP leader.
Meanwhile PDP said in a democratic setup there as no problem to hold official meetings at party offices. “Don’t treat invitation to the government officials as summon, this is democracy,” the leader added.
Some of the SMC officials, however, agreed with the PDP viewpoint. “There’s no harm in attending government meetings in political offices. Let’s not make it an issue,” said a SMC official.


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