Srinagar: Accused by some of his party colleagues of being a “bad bishop who conspired to de-thrown the queen” earlier this year, a People’s Democratic Party MLA is all set to regain ministerial berth in the PDP-led government.
Highly placed sources said the businessman-turned-politician, who was calling the shots during the first innings of the PDP-BJP alliance but was dropped from the list of ministers in the second innings, would be inducted into the Cabinet, after the Dussherha festival when burning of demon Ravana would be celebrated across the country.
Though the PDP leader and his friends wielding influence in the corridors of power are lobbying that he be given Tourism ministry, sources said he was likely to get back the ministry he was previously holding.
“Basically Tourism ministry was held by Mufti Muhammad Sayeed himself during his tenures as Chief Minister, so she (Mehbooba) will retain this portfolio,” said a source privy to the development.
Sources said during the past three months of ongoing unrest, the PDP MLA tried his best and even utilized “personal fortune to prevent the situation” in Kashmir from getting worse.
He was seen personally visiting areas like Maharaja Bazar in the civil lines to interact with protesters and to persuade them not to continue with stone-pelting anymore.
While his “counselling” is believed to have brought “perceptible change in situation”, he was seen among the very few loyalists who stood by the Chief Minister in the tough times.
“A friend in need is a friend in deed. This man has proved it for our party as he risked his life through public outreach at a time when PDP ministers were hiding back in their AC villas,” said a PDP leader asking not to be named.
Source said Chief Minister “took the decision” to incorporate him in the cabinet after getting inputs that even though this MLA was approached by a separatist group asking him to resign from PDP and join “peoples agitation”, he refused.
“On the lines of a religious theory of how a believer should act, he was offered three choices by them(separatists): The first offer was that he should resign, second option was that he should condemn government action on people during protests while the third one was that he should disassociate himself from government action by releasing a statement in this regard. But he refused to except any of the offers,” said a PDP insider in know of the matter.
Sources said the MLA told the separatists he doesn’t want to leave Mehbooba alone when her father has passed away. “Any such act of revolt would have only strengthened her belief that he was a bad bishop, who once wanted to declare coup in her party… But his stand in hour of need has proved his loyalty and cleared all doubts,” said an insider.
All this has helped the MLA to regain trust of party high command and to reap benefits, which are likely to transpire thorough the fresh ministerial berth.
Despite repeated attempts he could not be contacted for comments.
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