PDP Govt Dumps Winter Secretariat

Srinagar: At a time when Kashmir valley is cut off from rest of the world due to heavy snowfall of the season, the Mehbooba Mufti led PDP-BJP colaition government has silently abandoned the winter secretariat.

It has been a tradition of the successive regimes in Kashmir that with the half-yearly Darbar move, winter and summer secretariats would be established in Srinagar and Jammu respectively.

“Political set up and the bureaucrats prefer Jammu over Kashmir,” said Er Rasheed, legislator representing Langate constituency.

“You are right there is no one (in winter secretariat),” CPI (M) lawmaker representing Kulgam constituency, M Y Tarigami,  told Kashmir Obvserver.

“At winter secretariat there would be someone with authority,”  National Conference leader Dr Sheikh Mustafa Kamal told the Kashmir Observer. “Things would be done with pace when a minister would direct things.”

Expressing regret that a “good practice has been discontinued”, Kamal added, “this gives an impression that people of Kashmir Valley have been taken for granted during winter.”

Assuring that the issue will be taken up in the on-going session of J&K Legislative Assembly, Tarigami said, “the government has left Valley to divisional commissioner.”

When asked to know why the practice has been stopped, at least three ruling party MLAs said that they “were unaware of the development”.

“Ask government (about it),” PDP lawmaker Altaf Bukhari said when KO sought his comment. “I am only an MLA,” Bukhari said feigning ignorance about the development.

Notable to mention, Bukhari was PWD minister in late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed led PDP-BJP cabinet.

Another PDP MLA, who also was a junior minister in late Sayeed’s government, Ab Majeed Padder said, “I don’t think there is anyone (at the winter secretariat).”

Javaid Mustafa Mir, who won from Chadoora seat on PDP ticket and was Revenue Minister in late Mufti’s cabinet, said, “I’m not aware (about winter secretariat).”

When Kashmir Observer contacted J&K Government spokesperson, Naeem Akhtar and asked him for the reasons for closing winter secretariat, he dropped the call.

“No minister is ready to go to Srinagar,” fire brand MLA Rasheed observed, “the PDP ministers can’t face the people as they have compromised with the rights of Kashmiris.”

Former PDP Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar, Tariq Hameed Karra, did not speak on the issue. “Where is the government?” he qustioned and dropped the call.

The tradition to station ministers on rotation basis in Srinagar manning the winter secretariat was interestingly started by late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed.

State Congress Chief, GA Mir said, “it was a joint decision of the then PDP-Congress government for the benefit of the people.”

However, Mir alleged, “Mehbooba Mufti is undoing the vision of his father and is implementing her own ‘vision’ in J&K.”

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